The Powerful Impact of a Great Coach in Business and Sport

As an athlete I worked with coaches in the world of sport for over 20 years and I discovered the powerful impact of a great coach; I certainly couldn’t have achieved my success without excellent coaching.

There will be very few athletes who have reached the highest level without a great coach; so when I entered the corporate world I wondered, why wouldn’t more organisations provide coaches for their best ‘corporate athletes’? For sure a business coach is a big investment of time and money, but why wouldn’t you invest in your key players – the World Champions of your team, those who are going to drive growth and business.

Coaching to help realise potential

Sports coaches help their athletes to realise their potential and when they don’t have the skills to develop them in specific areas of their performance they bring in other specialist coaches, in the form of perhaps a strength and conditioning coach, a mind coach or a sports scientist, and each of them with the goal of helping that athlete be the best they can be. In the business world, it can only benefit organisations to build a support system around their top performers and help them maximise potential.

Help employees to feel supported

In the world of premiership football, teams spend large sums of money in the transfer season bringing in new players and then they invest more in them by making them feel supported – providing them with the specific support and coaching that they might need, from physio to nutrition or conditioning. It’s a simple formula whereby they bring in players who are excellent at what they do and then provide coaching to help make their lives easier and allow them to perform even better. At the on-boarding stage in an organisation, coaching helps accelerate the settling-in process, helps maximise impact in the first 100 days and helps the new employee to feel like they matter and their employer cares.

Inspire loyalty

This kind of support in an organisation will not only inspire better performance but will also increase motivation and loyalty, when the employee feels invested in, they will invest in the business. Coaching helps individuals to identify where they are and where they want to be, as well as stimulate the motivation and confidence to achieve those targets.

Excellent coaching in sport, allowed me to compete at the highest level and I truly believe that business coaching for employees is a worthwhile investment so that they can compete at the highest level for their organisations.

Here are some thoughts from fellow athletes – Olympic Champions Alistair Brownlee and Mark Hunter and World Champions Beth Tweddle and Elise Christie on what makes a great coach.

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Published: Tuesday 30 April
Written by: Anna Hemmings. MBE, OLY.