Traditionally coaching was best known in sport and education, for example a tennis coach, music coach, or being coached for an exam.

In recent years there has been a huge development in coaching particularly in industry through executive coaching and also in ‘life coaching’.

Coaching and mentoring can be seen as a method of supporting the individual to find ways of achieving better outcomes. A coach does not necessarily need to have subject expertise. For example a coach might help a sports player with strategies such as time management, fitness, self discipline, diet, anxiety control and motivation.

Coaching is approached by some as only forward thinking and therefore not concerned with past experience. However my take is that we are where we are due to our past experiences and therefore these experiences will influence the decisions we take and how we implement them. They relate to our values and how we interact with other people.

The coach believes that people have the resources within them to implement change for the better but they may need support to make choices and decisions and act on these. The coach must be a good listener who can ask the right questions to encourage the client to think in different and new ways and to plan ways forward.

Coaching may involve mentoring to provide support as a kind of professional friend.