Coaching: The Accelerator

Someone hands you a pencil and paper and says ‘hey, can you draw a picture that represents how a coach helps an athlete?’  What would your drawing look like?

I believe that many of us would draw the coach somehow overseeing or directing the athlete–to the side, talking in the athlete’s ear.  Other depictions would likely indicate the coach in a teacher’s role, demonstrating how a task ought to be completed.

Coaching is certainly many things, sometimes all at once, but if I had the pencil I’d draw it like this:
The athlete stands ready at the start line of a race.  The coach, almost but not quite out of scene, is about ten or fifteen steps in front of the finish line and is in motion.  As you zoom in closer you see the coach has a handful of caution tape and that’s when you notice he’s cordoned off a few sections of track in advance of the starter’s gun.

Okay fine that’s more like a movie than a picture because it’d be one hell of a busy picture, but you get the point: the coach is the guide.  The coach has walked the walk, in deed or in thought exercise, and now you run the race unencumbered by fuzz and obstacle.

Good coaching shows you the way and says “let’s go”.  Great coaching accelerates results by removing obstacles and saying “smoother is faster, NOW let’s go.”

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