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Office of Student Engagement

Coaches

A coach concentrates on personal and professional success. How effective is the individual at achieving their goals and getting what they want out of life? Coaching is future focused, aimed at identifying and understanding barriers and designing strategies and actions to eliminate those barriers and improve effectiveness.

Distinguishing Coaching from Other Forms of Development

Coaching is often confused with other fields such as mentoring and consulting. Below are some explanations of the differences between coaching and other forms of development.

Coaching

A coach concentrates on personal and professional success. How effective is the individual at achieving their goals and getting what they want out of life? Coaching is future focused, aimed at identifying and understanding barriers and designing strategies and actions to eliminate those barriers and improve effectiveness. Knowledge resides with the individual being coached. Coaches know how to help identify and design learning strategies and actions that will work best.  Coaches will often say, "What have you tried? How has this worked? What else can you try?"

Training

A trainer provides a structured program based on personal knowledge. The focus is on the acquisition of specific knowledge or skills. The trainer has the knowledge. Trainers discuss what they know about a subject.  Trainers will say, "Research and experience have shown this to be the best way."

Mentoring

A mentor provides knowledge, information, and advice based on his/her experience. The focus is on passing on guidance that helped the mentor be successful in a similar situation in the past. The experience resides with the mentor. Mentors offer advice based on their own experiences, and discussions often begin with, "This is how I did it."

Consulting

A consultant gives expert advice. The focus is on acquiring a specific technical expertise. The consultant has the knowledge. Consultants provide specific guidance; they will say, "This is how to do it."

Traditional Supervision

A supervisor provides direction and guidance regarding the execution of specific duties. The focus is on understanding how to do the job a specific way. Knowledge resides with the supervisor. Traditional supervisors provide instructions and they will say, "Do it this way."

Counseling or Therapy

A supervisor provides direction and guidance regarding the execution of specific duties. The focus is on understanding how to do the job a specific way. Knowledge resides with the supervisor. Counselors and therapists know how to guide someone to psychological well-being.  Often they will ask, "What happened in the past that is inhibiting you from getting what you want out of life today?"

Athletic Development

An expert guides and directs actions based on experience and knowledge. The focus is on actions or behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Knowledge resides with the athletic coach. The athletic coach will review what is wrong, and proscribe corrective actions. An athletic coach may say, "You need to do this in order to achieve the results you want."


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