Coaching is for Field Sports

A scroll through social media one day identified a wellness coach, lifestyle coach, nutritional guidance coach, exercise coach and even a sleep coach.


I’m sure there are a lot more but at this point I was already coached out from seeing it all. They are all showing these before and after shots of incredible results, floating in their pool, driving high end luxury cars, telling you how great their life is now that they did xyz and how you can do the same.


For a cost of course.


There are coaches for everything these days but I’m betting most are struggling to make that car payment and the pool is their neighbors. Not to sound jaded but how it’s presented on social media makes coaching feels like a new version of network marketing.


With all the coaching available, it got me thinking. . .


Do we really need a coach at all?


Coaching Your Way in Life

When I hear the word coach I think of a field sport like baseball or football with a team of players all marching out in brightly colored jerseys. Coaching is what happens to form those individual players into a team that wins games. It is strategic like moving the game pieces on a chessboard.


Coaches are important parts of team sports. They set the tone, build the culture and impart their perspective and wisdom on the players. They create unity and teamwork through their experience and knowledge. Coaches are tenured in their field and have that special insight that makes them admired, envied and inspirational to follow. They are leaders and some of the phenomenal teachers.


They didn’t just wake up one day and start promoting themselves as a coach. It took years, hard knocks and intense work to reach this status of being the coach people want to work hard for on a team.


Comparing this vision of a coach to the myriad of coaches promoting their business to help me with some problem in my life simply doesn’t compare. Why would I pay hundreds of dollars to someone to tell me what I probably already know, scream at me to work harder at my own goal or push me to buy their products?


Is there really value in that?


There may be times in life where we do need someone to help us through something. A personal problem, weight loss help, habit forming, or even business related. In my own experience I have turned to friends, religious guides, practitioners and even therapists. It is alright to ask for help. What I have found is often I do know the answer but it may not be something I exactly like so I’m seeking validation.


For longer term needs where I need more structure and accountability to reach a goal or solve a problem, a coach seems a logical person who could help. By nature, it is part of their job description. However, I think sole reliance on coaches and mentors limits our own problem solving and creativity skills. When we only follow someone else’s advice or recipe for success we end up with their solution and not necessarily our own.


The good part, I guess, is if it fails, at least you can blame the coach right?


Before you turn to a coach I would challenge you to seek out why you think this is necessary. What are you really trying to achieve through working with a coach and if there are better options available?


I do not imply that coaches are bad or unnecessary but if we have not done our own work first, then we are not ready for coaching to take us to that next level. We have to start with our own work first to test our own commitment to solving whatever problem we have and figuring out what we are made of from it.


It also helps to understand where specifically we need a coach to help us.


Choosing the Right Coach

Once you’ve done your own work but find you still need help, a coach can be beneficial. With so many people claiming to be a coach I would caution you on choice and expense when choosing a coach.


Here are some considerations:


  • Expectations. What is your expectation from coaching? Are you going to follow all the person tells you or are you going to personalize it for you? Have you communicated that to the coach so both of your expectations are openly shared?

  • Experience. Does the person have a successful track record helping people with your type of problem? Are they successful following their own advice?

  • Credibility. Has the person completed formal education, certification and accreditation in this area or topic? Are they legitimate or just some fly by night “be like me” floating in my pool on Mondays making millions? Be careful falling for the “before and after” posts of coaches.

  • References. Can they give you references of people you can contact about their experience with that coach? Ask if the person would hire that coach all over again? Were their results sustainable? What did they like best and least about the experience.

  • Products. Does the coach demand you use their products only? Be careful on this please. Most of the time there is a product sale it is by a coach who really is out to make a buck and not necessarily have your best interest at heart. Check out the program in detail before signing up.

  • Posts. What do they really post on social media about their coaching business? Is it quotes from their upline? Before and after shots of their clients, themselves or someone else’s? Are they showing off their beach life and Monday grind of pool floating? While we all want to cheer for successes, make sure what is being promoted aligns with your needs, focus and budget and is not just subsidizing someone else’s lifestyle.

What I have seen is most coaches with programs and products, are trying to fit you into a one-sized-fits-most scenario so they can give you their tools, techniques, products and results. If it doesn’t work for you then you obviously didn’t follow it accurately.


A real coach will personalize their program for your needs and areas of interest. They meet you where you are in your journey, not theirs. They could not care less if you buy their products and are more concerned with what you need for success. The messaging is completely different and void of before and after shots of others. It is about helping you individually, personally and uniquely.


Where most of us fall for coaching is in being desperate for solutions in our problems that we hear these great success stories and want that too. It sounds like exactly what you’re looking for and you slap down that credit card in a hurry to secure the last spot available to work with that person. You buy all the products, all the extras and dive into this information with hope you finally found the answer that you need.


Unfortunately, if you talk to a lot of ex-coached clients, they were able to get some results and sometimes they lasted for a while but it would take more coaching to get to their goal. Most people give up before then because of cost, time, program and coach mismatch. It is expensive to learn this the hard way.


Differences in Coaching and Mentoring

I find there are differences between coaching and mentoring. Certainly, a coach can be a mentor. Anyone can be a mentor for that matter, but fundamentally both have different purposes and scope.


Coaching and mentoring both serve a time bound purpose for specific things we are seeking in our lives. Coaching is more aimed at an established program you follow based on someone else’s design. Mentoring is where you seek answers, advice, guidance and experience from someone else and then use that to form your own solution. A good coach can provide this to you with a personalized approach and guidance that you use to fit to your own needs.


A good mentor has a story to tell that resonates with you. It inspires you to take action in your own life. The relationship is based on what you can learn from someone and make your own. Mentoring is often voluntary and freely shared but you may find some charges depending on the situation.


In mentoring you agree on a scope, purpose and frequency to connect. The entire process is designed around you and your questions. It requires you do the legwork in preparation and what you do with the information afterwards is also up to you. I like this aspect of it for the personal accountability the structure of mentoring presents. If you cannot hold yourself accountability for action then a coach isn’t going to be able to do it either. This is where most coaching situations fail in delivering results and you end up spending a lot of money for nothing. In mentoring, the risk of cost is nominal if any and you are completely responsible for what happens next.


Depending on your situation, it may be ideal to find a person who can serve as both a mentor and coach for you. These individuals are unicorns that truly have a service heart when it comes to helping clients succeed. They are interested in you as a person and what you need but they also expect you to meet them with accountability and commitment to your goals.


Professionals and the Others

The price points for coaches and mentors vary but if you do your homework there are a lot of good quality professionals available. While they may have set prices and rates some will work with you on payment plans if you need them.


When it comes to you health, I highly recommend professional level people. It is important not to be taken advantage of and having a person you can trust is interested in your results as much as you are. Look beyond the social media posts and ads to check out the person you are considering.


Working with a natural health practitioner or holistic healer is one of the best ways to get both mentoring and coaching through a professional service offering. These individuals are looking at you as a whole person inside out and meeting you where you are in your health journey. Their interest is in your result and not whether you purchase products or programs. Everything is personalized to your specific personal needs and goals. This approach also compliments existing health care you are receiving from your doctor so you can effectively co-manage your health needs.


So the bottom line is really what are you looking for in terms of help? Before you hand over your credit card understand if you are signing up with a little league weekend coach or a professional practitioner and mentor who is going to work with you on meeting your needs.


How to work with me

Exploring natural health care is one of the best ways to support goals and health care needs. It starts with finding a natural health or holistic health practitioner that you like and trust. Together we can define the right path to help you maximize your health and realize your goals.


To schedule services with me, please visit dragonspitapothecary.com/book-online

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