As the world is gearing up for the most-awaited tennis Grand Slam, Wimbledon (27th June to 10th July), there has been a lot of hype about the high-profile coaches that top players are choosing to take their game to the next level Noval Djokovic & Boris Becker, Raonic & John McEnroe, Andy Murray & Ivan Lendl and more.
Coaching can help a player to achieve challenging goals, push his/her boundaries and overcome weaknesses. In business, it is just the same. For those professionals who want to get bigger and better, coaching can help them achieve their full potential. Here is how top tennis champs are choosing their coaches and what business leaders can learn from it:
Find a perfect fit in terms of experience: Find a coach who has enough experience in your particular work stream - this will be a critical factor to add extraordinary value. Let's look at our tennis analogy here. Raonic chose McEnroe, a seven-time Grand Slam champion and a three-time Wimbledon champion, as his coach before Wimbledon, for quality advice that McEnroe could give on playing on grass surfaces or others. In business too, making a choice of a relevant coach should be based not only on the breadth of experience they but also on the depth of relevant experience.
Find a coach who knows what success looks like in your field: Choosing a coach who understands what success means in your field is critical. Boris Becker won a Wimbledon title at just 17 years of age. He achieved world rank #1 and won 3 more Grand Slams in the nineties. He joined Novak Djokovic’s team of coaches as a head coach in 2013 and the partnership has paid off handsomely. In 2015 alone, the Serbian made 15 straight finals and won 11 titles – including three Grand Slams and a record six Masters 1,000 trophies – en route to an 82-6 mark. In business as well, choosing somebody who has been there before can guide you about the path to get there.
Find a partnership in your coach: There is a bond that emerges between individuals when there is shared passion for the field. Murray, world number 2, brought back his former coach Ivan Lendl to his coaching team just before Wimbledon this year. Lendl was Murray’s coach between 2012 and 2014. In that period, the Scot won Wimbledon, the US Open, and Olympic gold. Sport's analysts comment that Lendl’s personality and approach helped Murray increase his focus and consistency. In business too, shared passion, chemistry and partnership between the coach and the coachee can yield impactful results.
When I reflect on the one real difference between sports athletes and business leaders, athletes have no reservation about asking for help and guidance to take their game to the next level and they proudly showcase their coaches, in fact Federer was questioned many times in the past when he was not working with a top level coach! For anyone who really wants to add an extra notch needs encouragement, feedback and inputs on how to improve techniques and new ways to do things. So, is it time for you to find a coach?