rom its origins in slang, the word coach has become a true polyseme; many different but linked meanings. The word coach was originally a slang word used at Oxford University circa 1830 and referred to someone who ‘carried’ a student through their exams. Today, we would usually call this person a tutor.
These days, coaches are found in many fields outside academia. In a recent Coaching Life survey of 50 people in Brisbane, 76% of people described a coach as someone who motivates the kids at sport. 12% included a business role in their definition while only 4% included a life coach or other speciality. 2% described a large bus designed for taking trips to the casino. Although only 2 people included life coaching in their definition, there are an estimated 10,000 life coaches in Australia.
The reality is that sporting, business, life and other speciality coaches have much in common. Whether the goals are sporting domination, corporate longevity or personal growth, we are all trying to help our charges be the best they can be.
The biggest challenge I see for coaching is upholding levels of professionalism, standards and ethics. There are coaching bodies and organizations that have codes of ethics and member standards but these organisations are unregulated and with membership being optional, ethics and standards are variable.
To raise the image coaching as a united community, we either need to regulate or educate. Regulation would mean that you couldn’t call yourself a coach unless you belonged to an association or regulatory body. This strategy is fraught with peril and does not warrant the overhead and dangers it presents. If regulation is not a viable option, then I see the answer is to EDUCATE.
Coaching Life was created to help educate the coaches and wider public on the standards and practices that we as coaches wish to uphold. As coaches, we are a community rather than an association but I believe that we can still support and uplift each other, increase our knowledge and show the world what coaches can do.
It is with great pride that I present the first edition of Coaching Life. Born in Queensland, Australia, it is my ambition to take the format to the world and provide a platform for the coaching community that educates, informs and raises the coach profile.
Powerful Stories, Tips and Amazing Insight
Ready, Set, Go! Everything you need to know to start coaching from the legends in the field. As well as the Business and Life coaches, our launch edition features David Parkin (AFL), Lisa Alexander (Netball Australia), Adam Commens (Hockey Australia), Simon Cusack (Swimming Australia), Sean Douglas (FFA) and many more!