Can sport psychology for coaching be applied to life, executive, and other types of coaching? Can some of the motivational techniques used by athletic coaches also be used in life, health, wealth, or career coaching sessions? Does incorporating sport psychology for coaching into a professional practice mean a coach can become better at coaching?
Sports is Like Life and Sports Coaching Can Be Like Life Coaching
In many ways sports is very much like life, and it offers plenty of life lessons for everyone involved.
- It teaches how to be a leader.
- It teaches how to be a follower – just as important as being a leader.
- It teaches you that mistakes happen.
- It teaches you how to overcome your mistakes.
- It teaches you how to overcome obstacles – like bigger, faster, and more skilled opponents.
- It teaches you how to formulate and execute a game plan.
- It teaches you how to lose and be a good sport (and then get up to play again).
- It teaches you how to win.
One of the most important things that is learned in sports is setting and achieving goals. This is also the heart and soul of life coaching. The psychology of athletic and life coaching revolves around goal achievement, and is the most blatant example of sport psychology for coaching.
Sport Psychology for Coaching
As a life coach, you are probably not going to be forcing your clients to do pushups when they don’t achieve a goal or fail to fix some bad habit or behavior. You probably won’t make them run wind sprints or practice extra time. But, you can take the elements listed above and use them in your coaching practice.
You can help your clients learn how to lead, whether they are only concerned with leading themselves or leading others.
You can help them become better at following – after all, most people are employees and have to deal effectively with a supervisor or boss.
You can help learn how to bounce back from mistakes and failure – failure is a component of success, and almost every successful person has experienced failure.
Most importantly, the juxtaposition of sports coaching and life coaching is goal setting and the game plan to reach those goals. If you aren’t setting realistic goals and creating a blueprint to reach those goals, you will probably not be successful. Likewise, if you are a coach and you aren’t getting your athletes or clients to create specific goals and design a road map to get to those goals, they you just aren’t doing your job as a coach.
Sport Psychology for Coaches
The book, Sport Psychology for Coaches, by Damon Burton and Thomas Raedeke is an interesting read for those interested in sport psychology for coaching. It is written for athletic coaches but provides information that helps build mental toughness and achieve excellence. It describes techniques such as goal setting, relaxation, visualization, energy management, and focus. All things very important on the athletic field, and in life! All things very important for successful coaches!