As we revel in the performances of athletes at the Olympic Games…

… we should also acknowledge that every single one of them has a qualified and experienced coach.

This is somebody they can confide in, who can offer advice and guidance, and who knows how to get the most out of the individual or team. The coach is called a coach, and not the manager, and that’s probably for good reasons.

It strikes me as very odd that in high performance sports the coaching role is fully accepted – and it has been for ages – whereas in business (where there’s often a lot more at stake, for instance: jobs, big money, or public safety) people rarely get proper coaching and if they do it’s only for a very limited period of time.

The perception may be that there’s no need for it, or not enough time, or that it’s expensive, or perhaps it’s seen as too confrontational. An athlete would never think this way, as they’re well-aware that opportunity often only knocks once and they simply can’t do it on their own.

A coaching relationship is among the most important ones that a top performer in any field can have. If you’re note sure, just ask those gold medallists.

P.S. Here’s a fantastic profile of a sport coach I respect a lot.

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