Lessons From the Locker Room: 4 Executive Coaching Practices to Steal from Sports

executive coaching

When we think of a sports coach, we often think of a supportive, focused, and goal-orientated leader. In addition, they are known for being clear communicators who are highly valued and respected by their team. These are all very desirable attributes that are also core characteristics of executive coaches in the business world. This article will explore some of the key habits of successful sports coaches that are transferable to almost any team — on or off the field.

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1. Identify your goals

Goal setting is an integral part of coaching in any field. In the world of sports, coaches will outline specific goals to give their team structure, direction, and purpose. This phase is not just about the end result or about “winning,” but rather about achieving a series of short-term actions that contribute to an overarching, long-term goal.

Here at 5Mindset Consulting, we like to think of goals as a series of routines that keep players or employees engaged and motivated. Once you have your goals articulated, you will want to set up a strategy for how you will achieve them. This is where the game plan comes in.

2. Set the game plan

As a coach, you will want to mentor your team on how to not only execute your strategies but also develop their own tactics on the fly. A good leader is a supportive one, and by identifying the key strengths in your team, you will be able to use your insights and experience to devise tactics that leverage their skill set. When taking a strategy from the locker room to the field, things can always go awry. However, the best game plans are robust enough to be successful in many scenarios.

For example, let’s say your team aims to hit a sales target with a new product you are bringing to market. What if the market reaction to the product is not what you expect? Through sales-driven individual coaching, you can ensure your team is equipped with what they need to be successful in any situation.

3. Work as a team

Every team has star players, but stars alone can’t carry the weight of an entire organization. A great coach and business leader will be able to position their team to leverage and nurture the talents of both star performers and rising talent.

The most essential thing in any team is trust, and by fostering strong relationships, a great coach will be able to delegate more responsibility within the team. A strong team in business and in sports typically has well-defined team rituals, like weekly meetings and one-on-one coaching sessions that keep the team’s objectives clear and ensure close collaboration.

4. Delivery quality feedback

Great sports coaches will provide detailed feedback on their players’ form, technique, and strengths — as well as outline opportunities for improvement. In the business world, it’s easy for managers to get caught up in the objectives that they forget to give feedback and career development opportunities to their employees. A healthy, strong team is one that is constantly improving and building on past success – and the ability to give constructive feedback is a quality of a good coach.

Coaching a team of any kind isn’t easy. Between setting goals, defining tactics, and managing people, there will always be challenges to overcome. But remember, if you can define your goals and set yourself up to achieve your objectives, it’s possible to transform your team and coaching style.

Written by:

Jean-Philippe St-Jacques
CEO 5 Mindset Consulting
www.5mindset.com

Visit 5 Mindset Consulting on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/5-mindset-consulting

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