The Top 15 Characteristics Of Excellent Coaches
Winning The Mental Game Of Coaching
Bill Cole, MS, MA
What makes for an excellent coach? What personal qualities
do top coaches possess that separate them from the good coach?
Is it more the training or the inner qualities? Is it more
coaching technique or the artistry? Is it more coaching knowledge
or its application? Is it more natural talent for helping
people or cultivated abilities? Is it insightful analysis
of people or an abiding presence with them?
There probably is no one single attribute that all excellent
coaches possess. Top flight coaches can be comprised of many
stripes and can come from many places, but they all connect
with their charges, they know how to make changes with them
and they know how to get results. Bottom line, they get the
This is my own personal list of what I like to see in coaches.
Over my 15 years as a college educator I trained many, many
future teachers and coaches. I was master teacher to many
of them. I mentor many coaches on a private basis now. Probably
the major qualities I saw that distinguished the great from
the very good were these three:
- They cared deeply about people.
- They had incredibly high personal standards and ambitions.
- They had a high level of self-knowledge.
Those three are at least a wonderful starting point. Now
on to the other 15 attributes of top-notch coaches. Top coaches
possess many of these:
- Exquisite self awareness.
- High emotional intelligence.
- Broad vision with focus on important details.
- Nuanced, crisp, superb communication.
- Highest regard, caring and respect for clients.
- Creative, innovative learner and developer of custom
- Perceptive, intuitive, curious and inquiring.
- Quick study with capacity for deep and wide learning.
- Student of coaching and other disciplines that support
- Sincere interest in clients and desire to help.
- Continuous learner of themselves and their experiences.
- See coaching as a two way interchange of energies and
- Humble, open, nurturing and grateful to the world.
- View coaching as a calling, an art and a discipline.
- Walking the talk and modeling a good life for their clients.
Expert coaches work on themselves unceasingly. They are
open to new ideas and philosophies. They study coaching seriously
and take coaching seriously. They care about the person across
Copyright © Bill Cole, MS, MA 2005,
2008 All rights reserved.
That's what it's all about anyhow, isn't it? Helping people?
To learn more about how coach training can help you become
a better change agent, visit Bill Cole, MS, MA, the Mental
Game Coach at www.mentalgamecoach.com/Programs/CoachingSuccess.html.
This article covers only one small part of the mental game.
A complete mental training program includes motivation and goal-setting,
pre-event mental preparation, post-event review and analysis,
mental strengthening, self-regulation training, breath control
training, motor skill training, mental rehearsal, concentration
training, pressure-proofing, communication training, confidence-building,
breaking through mental barriers, slump prevention, mental toughness
training, flow training, relaxation training, momentum training,
psych-out proofing and media training.
For a comprehensive overview of your mental abilities you need
an assessment instrument that identifies your complete mental
strengths and weaknesses. For a free, easy-to-take 65-item sport
psychology assessment tool you can score right on the spot,
This assessment gives you a quick snapshot of your strengths
and weaknesses in your mental game. You can use this as a guide
in creating your own mental training program, or as the basis
for a program you undertake with Bill Cole, MS, MA to improve
your mental game. This assessment would be an excellent first
step to help you get the big picture about your mental game.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness
and coaching, is founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching
Bill is also founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports.
He is a multiple Hall of Fame honoree, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published
book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For a free, extensive
article archive, or for questions and comments visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
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