Coaching Athletes vs. Coaching Entrepreneurs


All professional athletes have coaches. No serious competitor would attempt to compete at peak level without one. A coach is not just another player or colleague; a coach is a specially trained person with a very specific role. A coach does not have to be a star athlete. Sometimes the best coaches were never really good at the sport. They have different skills. So why do athletes need a coach? Is there a real purpose that the coach fulfills? Is it really necessary?

Let’s look at what a (good) sports coach does:

  • Assess the athlete’s overall strengths and weaknesses
  • Be objective – give honest feedback aimed at improvement
  • Design game tactics that favor the athlete’s strengths
  • Create training exercises that strengthen the athlete’s weaknesses
  • Track the athlete’s progress with training and exercise programs from month to month
  • Design strategies for long-term improvement/mastery
  • Recruit other specialists if needed
  • Help the athlete set specific goals and outcomes (Gold Medal, World Champion, etc.)
  • Keep the focus on the goals (removing any distractions)
  • Offer encouragement in times of defeat
  • Celebrate the victories!


There are entrepreneurs who succeed but there are many more that will never succeed. Just ask any investor. How do you pick the winners from the losers? Most investors will tell you that the most important aspect is the people involved in a startup. So what makes one entrepreneur more likely to succeed than others? It is the mind-set. It is the mental strength and determination of the entrepreneur that is usually the key deciding factor.

Coaching entrepreneurs is very similar to coaching athletes. Even natural sports talent needs to be developed. It rarely just happens on its own. The best entrepreneurs are not always those with the biggest IQs and the most distinguished PhDs.  They are, however, the ones that are observant, who listen carefully, who are willing to take good advice and who are quick to adapt and change.

Let’s look at what a (good) entrepreneur coach does:

  • Assess the entrepreneur’s overall strengths and weaknesses
  • Be objective – give honest feedback aimed at improvement
  • Design business-development tactics that favor the entrepreneur’s strengths
  • Create training exercises that strengthen the entrepreneur’s weaknesses
  • Track the entrepreneur’s completion of goals from month to month
  • Design strategies for long-term improvement/mastery
  • Determine the ultimate outcomes/goals (IPO, exit, investors, etc.)
  • Keep the focus on these outcomes (removing any distractions)
  • Offer encouragement when there are setbacks
  • Celebrate the victories!

Why hire an Entrepreneur Coach?Click here to book a free trial coaching session

If you are a serious athlete, then you probably already have a coach. If you are a serious entrepreneur, then you owe it to yourself to explore this tool. I think you will be surprised how effective and also fun it can be. I have used many different coaches over the past 5 years. Each time I am embarking on an exciting new venture or entering into an especially challenging project or transition period, I hire a coach. It is great to have the help and guidance during these kind of periods. Sometimes I only use them for 3 months. Click Here to learn more about coachingThe longest I have gone is 18 months with the same coach.

Put your startup company into to a new high gear. Challenge yourself to give 100% focus over the next 3 months and you will be amazed at how your business will change and prosper. If you are committed to your startup and if you have a sense of urgency about building your business, then sign up for a free trial session today. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

If you are not really serious about your startup business, if you do not whole-heartedly believe that you can and will succeed, then don’t bother with this.

Participating in an executive coaching program can be a very fulfilling and rewarding process. It is a time for you to reflect on your strengths, your past successes and also to identify areas of your life and business that you would like to enhance.

For many of our clients it becomes a major turning point in both their professional as well as their personal lives.  It is a great way to re-ignite your passion, to help to identify your purpose and to accelerate your growth quickly.

Want to learn more?  Try a free, no-obligation, no sales-pressure coaching session. Click here

3 Replies to “Coaching Athletes vs. Coaching Entrepreneurs”

      1. An excellent article Rick. Thank You. In my opinion, you hit the nail directly on its head when you said… “if you do not whole-heartedly believe that you can and will succeed, then don’t bother with this.” In all my years of coaching I have found that belief is the most crictical ingredient. A belief that change is possible, the willingness/courage to take the next step and the committment to our own future growth and development. BTW, I also coach a group of young footballers and they have embraced coaching in ways that I never expected of a group 15 year olds. At the end of last season this team was at the bottom of their league and this season they are number one (and we are planning that it should remain so until the very end). Okay, so I am certainly not going to take full credit for their success. Most of the credit must go to their managers but here is the thing…The players were hard-working and committed (still are). They embraced change. The result? A number of wins early in the season. Those early wins made believers out of those who didn’t yet believe and so it goes. Now comes the REWARD!

        If you want to win the race, first be prepared to get off the starting blocks!

        Best of the Best,

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