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From Good to Exceptional

From Good to Exceptional.

One of the questions you’re entitled to ask me is: “Barry, do you have a coach?”  I certainly do. I don’t just believe in coaching; I believe in being coached. How else can I expect to become better and better at what I do.

I’d like to share a question that my coach once asked me, quite a long time ago. What he asked me was, “Where do you think Roger Federer and Serena Williams will be today and what do you think they’ll be doing?”

Now I knew the answer and so do you. They’ll be on a tennis court somewhere practicing their serves and ground strokes. So, what was the point in asking me a question to which everyone knows the answer?

Because he knew that the answer would prompt me to think about things I’d never seriously thought about before. Here’s what I realised that I hadn’t even considered before:

  • Roger Federer and Serena Williams are the best tennis players of all time. They are very, very good, better tennis players than anybody else…
  • But they know they will only remain as good as that if they practice constantly.
  • They have the potential to be even better, but they won’t realise that potential without the guidance of a coach.
  • The best performers in every walk of life recognise the value of a professional coach.
  • It’s the people who are good, but not exceptional at what they do, who think they don’t need a coach.
  • The role of the coach is not become better than the player being coached. The player will always be better than the coach.
  • The role of the coach is to help the player to develop his/her unrealised potential.
  • There’s no better way to achieve this than by asking questions to which the player already knows the answers, but which provide insights never realised before.

I didn’t come to realise these things because of anything my coach taught me. It was all in there to begin with. It just took a well-thought-out question to release the potential that was in there already.

You don’t need a coach because you’re good, you know how good you are and you’re happy with that! You need a coach because you have a feeling you could be even better, because you want to be exceptional, but you know you’re unlikely to achieve it on your own.

From the coach who rocks.