Why a Coach Needs a Coach

Coach Amy on the podium (far right) while her coach takes a photo with her phone.

Coach Amy on the podium (far right) while her coach takes a photo with her phone.

So, I get asked this a lot, “Why do YOU need a coach when you ARE a coach? 

Looking from the outside in, I can see how that may seem odd. But let’s think about it; a surgeon doesn’t perform surgery on herself. That’s an extreme example, because logistically it’s nearly impossible to perform surgery on oneself, but the underlying reasons that professionals seek other professionals is the same: practicality, accountability, impartiality and experiential learning.  

As a wife, mother and owner of a coaching business and physical therapy practice, I tend to put myself last on the totem pole.  So getting around to creating my own training schedule and modifying it is impractical; it just doesn’t happen. Instead, I rely on a coach to design a training plan personalized to my goals, experience and schedule. This way I don’t get forgotten or lost in the shuffle.  

A sound training plan is one thing, but actually following through with it is quite another! Reporting to a coach on a daily basis holds me accountable. I’m not just checking off the completion of a workout. I’m sharing physical data and subjective reports about how I feel physically and mentally, so modifications can be made. 

With recommended modifications, a coach is objective and impartial. Practicing what I preach is hard to do. My athletes and patients will oftentimes hear me say, “Do as I say, not as I do!” Many health care workers and coaches are the worst patients and athletes when left to their own devices. It is easy to do too little on days I’m feeling tired or lazy, and it’s easy to push myself too hard when I should be recovering. Having a coach saves me from myself!

Planning, training and modifications aside, the most profound thing I have gleaned with years of professional practice and coaching is that the more “expert” I become, the more I realize there is still a lot I don’t know. There is so much more to learn, and always room for improvement. By having my own coach, I’m not only becoming a better athlete but I’m also learning how to be a better coach.