Business Coaching and Sports Coaching - Common Mistakes | Small Fish Business Coaching

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Business Coaching and Sports Coaching – Common Mistakes

Implementing and driving a process of change in a business is like coaching a sports team. You have to get the basics right before you start to win. 

These are some of the many similarities we found out when Tim Edwards (Guru sports coach, lecturer, academic and part time surfer) shared with us at the Small Fish Business Coaching conference a few weeks ago.

Here are EIGHT common mistakes made by sports coaches – many have great similarity in the business world…..

Mistake No 1:   Failure to recognise that change takes TIME

Many sports coaches forget that it takes time to mould a team to success. They expect instant results without doing the basics. Good coaches who take on new teams in AFL and NFL think years in advance and don’t expect to achieve success until two or three years out. They plan for it, knowing that getting the basics right is the first priority, building on them, then winning the premiership will come later.

Just so, business owners must understand that just by taking on a coach, things won’t change overnight. It takes time to implement a change program in a business. You have to get the strategy right, put the right systems and processes in place, understand the market, implement a solid sales plan, and nurture your customers, just to name a few. There are a myriad of small incremental changes that must take place before the business can start “winning”. Don’t expect to be driving the Lamborghini in year two.


Mistake No 2:  Failure to get everyone to PARTICIPATE

How many times have you seen a line of budding young sports stars being put through their paces by their coach. All lined up and one at a time practising their goal kicking. That’s all very well but soon the other 14 are as bored as anything and the coach looses them. Coaches would do better to ensure everyone is fully engaged all the time during practices. 

As in business, everyone should be engaged in a change program. It’s no use trying to change things if half the people don’t know what’s required. PARTICIPATION is the key to make sure change is driven deep into the organisation. It’s all too easy to lose sight of getting everyone in the business fired up about a change program.

Mistake No 3:   It’s all about BALANCE

How many times do coaches forget that if they are going to spend 50 % of their time in offence and 50% of their time in defence during “game time” then they should practise in that proportion? All too often coaches practice only one or the other and wonder why they lose during game time.

Just so – it’s no use spending all the focus on growth, like sales and marketing, and forgetting the back end of the business- customer service and delivery. All that ends up happening is that sa