I have been glued to the screen during Wimbledon 2014 and witnessed the birth of the super coach. Becker was brought in to the camp to help Djokovic play the big points well. Stefan Edberg was charged with helping Roger Federer add to his Slam tally. The Men’s Single’s final was fascinating. The pick up was exquisite, extraordinary. Both coaches did best with both players. We knew we were seeing something special.
The coaches probably helped each player to work out what to do when they are behind, to stay focused when behind, to play the big points, to putting the pressure back on the other play, to deal with the peaks and valleys, demonstrate resilience and to relentlessly raising their game. It is of course difficult to predict when two champions come out and play their best tennis at the same time, but the focus, discipline and being grounded can make all the difference. Djokovic dedicated his 2014 Wimbledon title to his first coach who taught him ‘the basics of tennis shots and behaviour and everything I know about the game. Jalena Gencic passed away last year, ‘this is for her’ he said.
So what has any of this got to do with coaching? ?
Coaching can help an individual or a group to link into the sensible side. What is it telling you? Successful coaching can help the protégé to overcome seasons of doubts, to realise potential and to learn from each experience. As a coach I have seen boards celebrate emotional highs and win awards. I have listened to good underlying stories. It is rewarding to see a Chair show guts, take charge and lead a board has it takes tough decisions. Even more impactful is seeing the whole team – be it the board or the Senior Executive team get over the finishing line. It can be the small, marginal and incremental adjustments that can make the difference. And all the hard work pays off and can make the protégé feel stronger, have a boost in confidence and feel particularly well placed to face new challenges. The coach works alongside the coachee as he or she tailors a tool kit to sustain successful outcomes.
The birth of the super coach in tennis, speaks to the wealth that can be brought by an effective coach in every day and organisational situations. Bring in on and bring it in, I say.