Former Olympic coach shares why coaching is not just for professional sportspeople to reach the next level

It is common knowledge that professional sportspeople credit their coaches saying that they play a huge part in their success.

Former Olympic coach shares why coaching is not just for professional sportspeople to reach the next level

For business owners, having a coach can unlock the same growth that a professional sportsman makes. James Vincent has been a high-performance coach for over 20 years. Having spent over 10 years supporting high-performance athletes, in which he coached three Team GB athletes into the top five in the world (with one of his clients winning GB’s first-ever medal in Men’s Badminton at the 2016 Rio Olympics), now as UK Performance Director at ActionCOACH UK, James’ role is to utilise his years of experience in sports and business coaching to help maximise the returns for both Action Coaches and clients. Here, he shares how to find the perfect coach to unlock your business’ full potential.

Coaching works in sport. I helped coach Team GB athletes to an Olympic medal. Coaching also works in business, I see thousands of businesses we coach progressing every week, which means coaching works for people who want to grow. I researched the subject with the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) and have presented insights to the European Coaching Conference. Since joining ActionCOACH, as their UK Performance Director in 2014, I’ve dedicated my time to optimising and building awareness of the huge benefits of these partnerships. Being highly competitive myself, joining the world’s number one business coaching franchise was an attractive prospect as I knew I could make the coaching offering at ActionCOACH even better. Fundamentally, I believe everyone can benefit from a business coach, and here are just three of the key elements you need to consider when choosing the right one for you.

The right connection

You need to feel a connection with your coach. This can be through their experience and passion for your sector, or shared values and morals. Either way, you’re going to need this connection whilst you grow your business together. To achieve what you want from coaching, there must be a mutual connection and a belief in your vision. Ask yourself: is this coach demonstrating belief in me and my business, a knowledge base and experience, ideas and optimism which I could benefit from? If not, I would suggest looking for a coach who demonstrates these characteristics.

Consider coaching delivery

Attention must be paid to how you want your coaching to be delivered and structured. Everybody needs some structure. You may feel more comfortable in a group environment, or you may want someone who is available to do one-to-one coaching. To be successful, this needs to be the right structure for you, so make sure you consider how you want your coaching delivered. Coaching is an ongoing process and will evolve overtime. At ActionCOACH, we are proud to offer many different pathways, which means you can find the perfect formula to create prosperity in your business.

Find an accountability partner

Coaching is not all about friendship. In fact, it is equally important that your business coach will hold you accountable from one session to the next. Coaching is embodied by ‘courage and encourage’. Your coach must have the courage to hold you accountable, to ask you the tough questions that no one else does and to tell you the truth. Equally, your coach must encourage you to do the right thing, take the right actions and become the right person – all in the spirit of achieving your potential. They will always have your best interests at heart as, after all, your success is their success.

James Vincent
James Vincent