Investing in Yourself: The Value of Coaching for Leadership and Professional Growth

When we think of coaching, many of us are first introduced to the concept as children playing in the little leagues. The majority of people that I know never even used the term, “Coach,” to refer to the person running their pee-wee or intramural baseball, basketball or whichever sport. For most of us, our coach was Mr. or Mrs. Something or other who was a teacher by day but either lost the coin toss or volunteered to spend time after school coaching a youth sports’ team. 

In fact, a recent study (2019) shows that fewer than 10%, and possibly as low as 5% of youth sports coaches have had any training at all. In short? These are wonderful people for volunteering their time but they are woefully unqualified. There may even be a correlation with that lack of certification and training with the high youth sports drop-out rate which plummets in middle school, falling from 75% to around 25% or fewer students participating in after-school sports. By high school, that number dwindles to 7%

Yet coaching has an incredible impact so it’s a missed opportunity.

The Importance of Coaching: From Youth Sports to Professional Development

Coaches do more than teach us how to hold the bat, serve the tennis ball, recover a fumbled football or how to breakaway from the pack to score in soccer. They instill teamwork, motivation, discipline and resilience. Even the world’s most elite athletes have coaches urging them forward and always trying to improve upon their best. LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Aaron Judge, Serena Williams, Lindsey Vonn, Simone Biles are all incredible athletes, arguably gifted ones, but they weren’t born excellent – they had to work at it to become excellent. And that took coaching on the fundamental technical skills of their respective sport in combination with all the soft skills they need to manage their emotions, persevere through pain and hardship, fight for the win and recover from a loss.

There are, naturally, parallels to coaching that we see today, largely at the executive level and with respect to business skills for professionals. Here, the challenge is that it’s commonly the 0.01% that get access to the likes of Tony Robbins, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, Chester Elton, Judith Glaser and the world’s other elite coaches

Mid-level business managers are increasingly getting some access to business and soft skills coaching. But students? Nada. Zip. Zero. 

Okay, fair enough, those who go to college get help creating a resume, but that’s about where it stops; only a handful of colleges offer robust career services support programs which have the resources to go beyond a resume, cover letter, some basic interviewing skills, and leadership training.

The Aug 1, 2018 article posted by Forbes Coaches Council showcased the value of coaching done right and condemned some practitioners by making this statement, “Effective coaching absolutely has the ability to transform your business, but sadly, most business coaching has devolved into half-baked entrepreneur therapy sessions.” The article then continues highlighting the value that Google’s former exec chair experienced when he hired a professional business coach, ” How could a coach advise me if I’m the best person in the world at this? But that’s not what a coach does …They have to watch you and get you to be your best.” 

What is Coaching and Why Do You Need It?

In a nutshell, what do coaches do? They help you set, stay focused on, and achieve a goal. It’s that simple. Personal or professional goals, have different outcomes but largely the same approach – they coach you on how to do it, keep you motivated to keep working at it, and celebrate with you when you hit the goal.

There are all different types of coaches, including those that focus on life skills such as Personal, Accountability, Career, Exec, Leadership, Strategic, Teamwork, and countless specialty coaches with expertise in everything from spirituality to navigating toxic relationships to becoming extroverted. Master Coach Tony Robbins often speaks about why people need coaching; they’re lost, are held back by fear of failure, self-doubt, poor time management, awkward socially, ineffective communication, and many other reasons. 

What people struggle with is committing to being coached weekly, or bi-weekly, month after month, where business coaches’ rates average $200/h and life coaches’ rates are around half of that. That’s where we’re different. We’re providing instructional coaching content, access to certified coaches, and materials on-demand, as needed, when needed, to meet students where they are. Our platform is designed to assist students in developing essential life skills and effective job search strategies to help them achieve success in school, work, and life. And we’re paying our coaches much higher revenue shares than other platforms – and no fees for our early adopters who support our movement to help students find success.

Coaching certification takes years of life and career experience coupled with the completion of coursework and examinations – and it’s not for everyone. Neither is being coached. 

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