Everyone needs a coach

Have you been coached? Over my career, I have had a number of experiences with coaches. Some coaches  provided the spark I needed to succeed. Others were reason I quit the sport. Coaching is an interesting vocation. When you believe in something, and you want others to see it, it is hard not to be emotionally involved. There are times where I question whether I’m in the right profession. Do coaches matter?

As I was driving to Michigan yesterday, I listened to an interview with Eric Schmidt. The interview had lots of interesting insights, but one thing Eric focused on was that much of his success came about due to a coaching relationship he had throughout most of his career.  He understood that there was value in having someone in your corner to provide insight, accountability, suggestions, support, etc.

Interestingly, after the podcast ended, I turned on NPR and heard a rerun Terry Gross’ Fresh Air where she interviewed Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond). Ray said that much of his TV success came after he hired an acting coach. Ray said that he realized he simply couldn’t do it alone. He needed some help.

I had three take-aways from these seemingly coincidental interviews.

  1. Coaches have value. It’s nice to hear that high achievers in their respective fields understand there is value in having a coach. And the value comes from the relationship and trust, not so much from the “flashy stuff.”
  2. I love being a coach. And I don’t mean that I like being a “training plan writer.” I love COACHING. I enjoy helping people and seeing them grow, learn, and ultimately become a better version of themselves.
  3. I enjoy being coached. Over my career as an athlete, scientist, researcher, and “person,” I have gained invaluable knowledge when I allow myself to learn from others who have been where I currently am.

So, back to my original question, “Do coaches matter?”  Yes they do.