What Is The True Role Of A Coach?

Of all the professions out there, the coaching field seems to be one of the harder ones to define.
What, exactly, is the role of a coach?
Designated screamer?
I recently came across a great definition of the role of a coach, one that I feel is as true as any you'll ever see.
Strength coach and author Martin Rooney defines a coach as:
Someone who takes you
where you want to go
when you can't get there yourself.
In that sense, our roles as coaches - both in sports and on the training side - is to create the future each player desires.
Sometimes that means sharing knowledge on skills, both in sport and training.
Sometimes that means connecting with an athlete and learning how to best motivate them towards what they truly want.
Sometimes it means holding someone accountable for actions that aren't taking them to the outcome they want.
In a team setting, it can mean teaching athletes how to work together towards a collective goal.
No matter what the situation, three things are always true about our roles as coaches:
#1 We are a guide, not the center of attention. It is never about us.
#2 To know where an athlete, or a team, wants to go you have to dig in and talk to them about it. Only by knowing this true desire can you properly design their path (practices or workouts), and motivate a player or team through tough times.
#3 We only need coaches to help in areas we are not capable of doing alone. No one (I hope) needs a coach to help them brush their teeth better, but you probably do need one if you wish to play in the NBA, NHL or another pro sport. Especially if you are not already elite in your sport skills, physical abilities, or in how you play as part of a larger team.
The beauty of coaching is it is one of those fields where technology can never truly replace its main function. We can positively impact so many people in ways far beyond counting calories, reps, or steps.

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