Athlete, coach and the third entity

We often expect the coach to share some wisdom which transforms the athlete’s performance or the athlete, pumped up by coaches words, to produce a superhuman effort in competition.

It rarely happens like that and nor should it.

The real magic happens in a different place as I was reminded of yet again this week. It happens in a third place, the relationship between athlete and coach. When this is working at a high level then the athlete and coach can learn and co-create together. Crucially, as the coach, I learnt just as much about coaching as the athlete did about their running during the training session in question. This was partnership at its best.

It is such an important point for coaches and coachees in any field to acknowledge when they are contracting at the start of their relationship. It’s a joint endeavour for which both are responsible.