Why you need a coach

The Olympic games are well underway after being postpone due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These games show us a glimpse of the extraordinary talent there is. People who compete at the Olympics are not only incredibly talented, the also undergo immense training and years of sweat and pain to get where they are. To simply maintain their performance, let alone improve, they need to train and train hard. It is a reality indispensable from true sportsmanship.

Within the training grounds of these athletes is a coach. Take Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi who have both played hundreds of games and scored numerous goals for example. They have ripped apart defences and shocked the world with their spectacular football skills. Why then, would such highly skilled athletes need a coach?

There are several roles that a coach plays in the life of a professional athlete. A coach usually brings in a different and objective perspective, provide encouragement and motivation in addition to helping the athlete focus on the vision especially when the said athlete losses focus. Quite simply, a good coach is a person who notices a seed, waters it and nurtures it to become the fully grown tree it is meant to be. On one hand, they are on the sides making sure the person they are training stays on their tracks and on another, they are behind pushing the athlete as they much towards the finish line.

This phenomenon is not limited to athletes. However, despite its applicability in innumerable areas of life, it is not readily included in our personal lives and careers. This is not due to a lack of trying because we do try. Almost every young person has someone they look up to. The unsaid rule is that we discover such a person then we buy their books, listen to their Ted talks, attend their conferences if possible and follow them on social media platforms so as to increase the chances of picking up any nugget of wisdom they might drop. This, in and of itself is commendable. It is nice to have a big name to look up to. However, it pales in comparison to having someone who knows you by name, knows your weaknesses and strengths, your motivation and inhibitors, yet loves you anyway and goes to the extent of offering to take you by the hand as they lead you to achieve your goals.

By no means am I discrediting the importance of role models clothed in big names, they are useful and needed. If you’re a football player in a small club in your hometown, you will do yourself a huge favour by wanting to become like Messi and spending as many hours as possible watching him play so that you learn some of his tricks. Yet, if that is all you do, chances of you getting anywhere near Messi’s level are extremely marginal.  What you watch about Messi should be accompanied by countless training sessions at your local club under a coach who takes specific interest in you, notices your skills and commits to do everything in his/her power to see you grow your skills. And when you reach Messi’s level or even surpass it, you will still need a coach because a good sportsman/sportswoman never outgrows his/her need for a coach.

What if we applied the same principle to those outside the world of sports? Who do you look up to in your career and education? Who is holding your hand to guide you through the path so that you become twice as much as the person you look up to? Who is your mentor? Does he/she know you by name? Or maybe you have arrived and are too good to have a mentor? I can assure you that you haven’t. So get yourself a coach soon! For without a good coach, many talents are wasted.

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