Tag Archives: Coach

Sport Manitoba

This one is a little different, seeing as it is a not-for-profit. Nonetheless I think that Sport Manitoba deserves a mention because of the huge role that it played in my life and the lives of a huge number of people.

Basically if you played a sport in the province at any point in your life, you have Sport Manitoba to thank. The simple structure is that every sport played has a Provincial Sport Organization and Sport Manitoba houses and helps all of them.

Being someone who was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play a number of sports, I have Sport MB to thank for the organization, partial-funding and training that is involved for every team. In addition to focusing on athlete development, there is also attention paid to coaches and officials, as well, because without them there is no organized sport (which is why until there are some refs involved, Ultimate is never getting into the Olympics).

Sport MB doesn’t just organize, either. Based on the belief (that I 100% share) that all kids should have the opportunity to play sports, they support charity KidSport. It gives the opportunity to participate to children who may not have had the chance otherwise.

Besides their work focusing on the on field / ice / court / track / ring / etc. activities, there is also a focus on enhancing other sport services. Sport medicine is important for athletes at all levels and is treated as such. The Sport for Life Centre (145 Pacific) is a state of the art facility which is able to help with a wide array of maladies.

So thank you Sport Manitoba! Not just for the sports that I played, and continue to play, but also for the development of the entire sport community!

Coaching vs Consulting

I don’t know why, but for some reason it seems to me that lately the line between a consultant and a coach has been blurred. I don’t know if it’s because one seems more promotable than the other, if those in a coaching / consulting role fancy themselves as both or people don’t hold the same definitions as I do, but I think it’s a difference worth talking about.

It’s an important distinction, because when hiring one or the other an individual or business should know what it is getting. Also, if you are either a coach or a consultant, by promoting yourself incorrectly it may lead to a number of waste-of-time inquirers, or worse, frustrating engagements that can fall apart and even damage your reputation.

It’s also easy to realize why there may be some confusion. From a contractor standpoint, they are both usually engaged to work on a specific project and there is an agreed upon desired outcome. Typically what they are working on would not be considered the “day-to-day” business of the firm. The word “change” would come to mind.

While there are some general similarities, the specific differences are what make the distinction between the two very important.

Consultants are typically hired to help a business make a decision or implement some sort of specified change. That is to say the provide recommendations based on their expertise and even go as far as to manage the change. How I would summarize it as they take the information available to them, make a decision and then work with the company to make it a reality.

The information and communications typically come from them, with the company listening to the expertise of the consultant and effecting operations as necessary. The change comes from the outside.

Coaching is a different process. Rather than having expertise in a specific field, coaches provide a different framework in which the companies or individuals within the company grow and change. Rather than hiring someone to come in and give an answer, when companies hire coaches they should expect to work with them in order to create success from within.

If that doesn’t seem to make sense, think of a coach in high level sports. It is up to the players to have the level of skills necessary to compete at that level. The coach’s job is to organize the team and structure the type of play in order to achieve the best results possible with the available players.

There’s never a time where the coach jumps in the game because they are able to play better than the athlete in question. Such is the same with coaching; they don’t necessarily have necessary skills in order to complete the specific tasks of those they are working with. They do, however, understand what is needed in order to work together with them to maximize performance. In other words, coaches listen.

So next time someone throws around the title “Coach” as it relates to a business function, challenge them and see if they’re actually just a consultant in disguise.

The Eyes of Others

If you can’t tell by the large and growing number of blog posts, I’m the type of person who likes to discuss thoughts I have and choices I have to make. It typically isn’t even about getting feedback. Even if the person can’t help at all, the act of organizing a thought into something that is communicated usually is a huge help for me to set myself straight. The only other way I can think of doing this is having lengthy conversations with myself, which I’m not completely comfortable with yet.

An aside: My Grandma Parsons had a saying that I love, “Talking to yourself is fine. It’s the people who answer themselves that you have to worry about.”

I love it, though, when the person I’m talking to IS able to offer an outside perspective. Someone being able to see the problem or choice through a new set of eyes will be able to see the forest for the trees, so to speak. That is, they can offer some suggestions or perspective that seems simple, but you have been focusing too hard to see.

This happened to be recently, and I have to say it is an amazing feeling. It’s almost like everything was black and white, then all of a sudden I could see in colour again. It is something so elegant that I’m extremely excited about the prospects it may offer.

I’m not going to bore you with the details, but I think that this is a great example of the main goals I have with this blog. As stated before, I want improve my writing (communication) skills, as well as think that putting out what you believe to be true on the internet allows you to help shape it just a little. The added benefit is since I typically write about things relating to my life, three times a week I reflect. Oh, and the comments are great, too!

Next time you have a decision that you are struggling to make, or a thought that just isn’t fully rounded out, talk to someone about it. Almost doesn’t matter who. Don’t expect them to solve your issues for you, or even understand what you’re talking about. What they will be able to do is force you to boil the situation down to it’s simplest terms and understand it better yourself, which is a huge help in and of itself.