Since 2011 I have been an ICF trained coach. Work as a coach is rewarding because of the amazing things my clients accomplish.
But despite the joy coaches find in our work, most outsiders fail to understand coaching relationships. What are we trying to do for our clients? Why is it worth the time and money?
The answers become clear after working with a client, but they also look a lot like what happens on the field of play. Allow me to share a story.
In September, I took to the U7 (under 7 years old) soccer field for the first time as a coach. The same night, Kamari had his first night as a soccer player. Kamari joined our team for the fall, killing time until basketball season started.
Despite his natural athletic ability, there was nothing natural about dribbling the soccer ball. Nevertheless, for eight weeks, he stuck with the beautiful game and had a great fall before heading to the gym.
When we returned to the field in March, Kamari was back. I shared my excitement with his mother who quickly confessed that he didn’t love basketball. Though he had dreamed about it for years, the season ended in disappointment, but he was really excited about soccer.
As the spring progressed, Kamari’s effort to improve and have fun was contagious. Our team bonded, scored several goals each game and despite our efforts to downplay victories, we won every week. Our little team, who only once squeaked out a tie amidst seven losses during the fall, kept getting better, having fun, and each week, enjoyed the game a little more. In the end, each child succeeded and progressed on the field and as their coach, seeing their success was my reward. That is what coaching is about.
As a soccer coach, I know the kids want to have fun, play the game well and grow in their skills. But, the same is true for every coaching relationship I have. Though the subject is different, the goal is the same. My goal is to help you have fun, progress and to succeed.
The best coaches, the ones you want to work with, provide space for clients to figure out what they truly want and how they can best accomplish their goals. The best personal, congregational and ministerial coaches, bring no agenda, desired outcome, or vested interest for themselves except to see you get what you need out of this chapter of your life. Then, when this happens, when we see you reach your goal, we are rewarded. It is why we coach. And, finding someone who relishes your success is exactly what you should seek in a coach, no matter the sport or subject.
As our season was ending, time was running out. Kamari’s skills progressed and he wanted to score a goal. In our last game, we all were pulling for him to have a Donovan, Wambach or Messi kind of moment and in the fourth quarter of our final game, it finally happened.
Following a foul and a free kick, Kamari got the ball, emerged from the crowd of kids and dribbled it to his right, just inside the mid-field circle. After outflanking all the other defenders, he made his way toward the goal.
Then, with only a defender and a goalie between him and the back of the net, he pressed forward. He outmaneuvered the defender and as the goalie jumped right, Kamari kicked the ball left.
It was perfect.
It was straight from the SportsCenter Top 10.
He had finally scored and the sideline erupted.
After just two seasons of soccer, he naturally celebrated as if he had been watching the La Liga from birth. And on the sidelines, our tears of joy quickly turned to fitting laughter as the referee blew her whistle for the final time. With his goal, the game was over. Kamari’s beautiful goal turned out to be the last play of our season.
Eight months ago, he could hardly dribble a soccer ball. Six months ago he was focused on basketball. But before it was over, Kamari’s new goal was accomplished. We were overjoyed. And as a coach, I cannot wait to get back on the field or back on the phone to help someone else succeed. That is what coaching is all about.
To the uninitiated, coaching may seem strange but it really is quite simple. All who read this to understand how I feel as Kamari’s coach. But the feeling is not limited to soccer. I feel the same way with every client who has been working toward a goal that finally goes well. That is what coaches do. Out on the field, or on the phone from your study, we long to see you do great things.
I do not know where you are in your season.
I do not know how many games you have left of if you are down to the final minutes of your fourth quarter, but it is not too late for you to take a step forward. Make a call and find a coach. Reach out because I promise, we want nothing more than to celebrate scoring some goals with you.
 This is not his real name