Why Sport Coaching and Professional Coaching Are Different?

coaching

When we talk about coaching, we normally think of sport coaching. Athletics, soccer, golf, swimming, tennis, badminton are few sports we commonly relate them to coaching. And when we say coaching in the workplace, we would imagine the same approach - give guidance, inspire, and correct our people to achieve higher performance.

Is there a big difference between sport coaching and professional coaching? The answer is, no big difference. But they are not exactly the same in many small ways.

Objective wise, sport and professional coaching are there to help the player's (coachee's) uncover hidden potential and perform at the peak level. Both types of coaching recognize the importance of developing stronger mind. A great coaching session eliminate the negative voice inside our mind so that we are 'liberated' to perform and achieve breakthrough results. The world famous Harvard tennis captain turned coach, Timothy Gallwey in his book "The Inner Game of Tennis" says, there is 'teller' and 'doer' inside us. These two entities separate us from performing at our best natural capability. Coaching aims to build deeper relationships between them and move forward as one entity.

Sport Coaching
Here, we see how Sport Coaches instruct the players' positioning, draw up tactical diagram, strategize movements, give encouragements to the players, and yell at the players and referees sometimes. And we think this is the same happen in executive coaching. Not entirely true. We'll talk about it in the next section.

Interestingly, what happen behind the scenes in sport coaching are different. In between the tournaments, Sport Coach watch the recorded tapes together with the players, give feedback, retrain, and shadow coach them. He sits down with the players and asks questions about their performance - questions that related to what went well and what can be better next time. In addition, he asks and understand what really motivate each player and what they need in order to perform better in the next game.

Professional Coaching
Professional Coaches are the same like Sport Coaches behind the scene. Their conversations focus on present and future, goal-driven, and behavioural change for better performance. A Coach asks questions to elicit the Coachee's self-limiting beliefs, self discover the blind spots, and move forward with more powerful action plans.

Take a look at the table below for a comparison summary between sport coaching and professional coaching:

Sport
Coaching

Professional
Coaching

Scope

Sport games

Leadership, business, career, life, financial, relationship, etc.

Objective

Improve behavioural and performance for goal achievements.

Improve behavioural and performance for goal achievements.

Approach

Transfer formal and tacit knowledge, skills, best practices, experience, wisdom and mindset.

Help individuals or groups self discover and take ownership to achieve desired goal.

Method used

Directive and non-directive methods

Non-directive method

Communication style

Organise, teach, advise, support, and supervise.

Empower, facilitate, validate, and support.

Whether it is Sport Coaching or Professional Coaching, they help individuals uncover their blind spots, remove self-limiting beliefs, and perform differently for better results.

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Simon Yap

Simon is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credentialed by the International Coach Federation (ICF) USA, certified Facilitator, Trainer, and Training Evaluator. He helps Business Managers and Sales Coach master the leadership skills they need so they can build committed results-drive team and have the best talented people stay in the business. He has clocked more than 1,000 coaching hours helping C-suite leaders, Senior Managers, Managers, and Senior Government Officers achieve higher performance and results.