In the last 20 years or so the athletic achievements of sports men and women have advanced at an incredible pace. While some of that can be attributed to improvements in sports nutrition and our knowledge of how the body works and its process of recovery, elite athletes all have different regimens and will often need different nutritional elements depending on their sport of choice. The one thing that all elite athletes have in common is the fact that they have a coach. But why?
Surely, they have reached such a level in their careers there is nothing left for them to learn. That is true to an extent; the forehand they have developed since taking up tennis aged 8, or the training routine they used from an early age building up their endurance to compete at the highest level in marathon running as an adult, all integral to their very essence. Sometimes though there is another athlete who for reasons unknown always pips them to the post, or wins more of the important games in major tournaments. In the past that was put down to luck, but these days we know better.
Tennis is a great example of how Sports Psychology is used to advance players ranked in the top 100 into the top 10. The 2017 success of Johanna Konta in reaching the Wimbledon Semi Finals is a prime example. In 2017 alone she jumped more than 50 places in the rankings and after Wimbledon she was ranked number 5 in the world. Did her technique improve? Did she grow taller or stronger? Not likely, in reality it was her mindset that changed. Changing mindset is the greatest way to unlock that elusive 10% that allows top athletes to become all-time greats. Having a belief in their abilities, being provided with the tools to deal with self-doubt, and unblocking mental blocks.
That is where coaches fill the void. While an athlete practices their technique, trains to make themselves stronger. The coach is on hand not only to examine those sessions but to talk them round mentally into a higher state of self-belief. It’s not about inflating their egos, we all know what pride leads to, but more about removing anxiety, allowing them to think more clearly, to get over short term setbacks and become resilient.
The words anxiety, clear thinking, short term setbacks and so on are equally common in business, and while a top executive, is likely to be highly skilled in their field they may not have the ability to self-examine and unpick their mindset. The very mindset that is causing a blockage and stopping them from seeing the wood from the trees. So a coach is the person that top executives turn to, that sounding board that displays utter confidentiality (as so often the blockage is a personal issue that is hidden from everyone in the executives life, even their spouse), they don’t judge, they are just there to allow the individual to see past the problems of today to the solutions of tomorrow.
Coaches don’t answer the questions (although their experience often guides an executive to their own answers). Just as the man can feed his family for a day if you give him fish, if you teach him how to use a rod and line, he can feed his family for a lifetime. That’s what the best executive coaches do, they listen, they digest and they ask questions and the results are incredible, executives leave with new found confidence, better understanding of their colleagues and better insight into a problem that has been plaguing them.
Top Executives, CEO’s and Innovators are the business equivalent of Elite athletes, and while they can do almost anything, when self-doubt invades their thought process their performance drops and that can be a very painful downward spiral to experience. So, what are you waiting for? Engage a coach today, to unlock that last 10% and take your business and career to new heights.