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Coach, tell me…?

This blog is authored by Nathan

Sanjay Bangar joined the Indian Cricket team in the early 2000s. He would bat down the order and chip in with his bowling. In the 3 odd years he played for the team, he appeared in 12 Test matches and 15 One day internationals (ODIs). His lone century was in a test match with Zimbabwe. With this, you would agree that he wasn’t really a player to remember, given that this country has produced many greats in the world of cricket.

I always wanted to Coach people. I felt I was a natural at it, especially given that I would ask at least five why’s before I went down to giving someone a solution or advice. My colleagues at work and friends at church found my advice helpful at most times. They were at ease opening their lives to me. I just needed to make time and collect some money to get certified in coaching, so I could do what I was anyway doing and earn from it.

That is how I approached and even signed up for my Coach Training Program. Little did I know what I was getting into, or in the words of my mentor Coach, the ‘world’ I was entering into. My first learning session in the course created such great dissonance inside me. I was being told that I’m not supposed to lead the conversation or give advice and not even give direction! I was being taught to ask questions with a genuine curiosity, even about mundane & simple stuff that I definitely knew about and I thought others did too. I still remember when my mentor coach, after my first shot at coaching in the training program, suggested that I ask my client, ‘What does Youtube mean (to you)?’. I was thrown off my chair! What does Youtube mean? Come on, does coaching mean asking such silly questions?

Little did I know or realise how different words, phrases and common lingo meant to each person. Meaningfulness, I learnt. Especially in a country like ours where English is most likely not the language one thinks in, a lot is lost or misinterpreted in the translation of our vernacular thoughts into English speech. Well, that’s a topic for another article. But the point was that as a coach, I needed to leave my baggage outside the session. Baggage which had neatly pressed, folded and arranged into it, my knowledge, experience and understanding of people. I learnt quickly that Coaching was not about me, and therefore not about what I know and, even more importantly for me, what I don’t know.

What a relief it was to know that I did not have to be a ‘somebody’ to coach a ‘somebody’. Given that I was leaving the corporate world before I could be in the top rungs of management, I was very anxious about how I would be received as Coach. I was concerned and apprehensive if people with the ‘C’ tags would accept me as a coach given my last designation. I was concerned if my prospective clients would deny being coached by me given that I didn’t have an experience like they did.

Coaching, when understood correctly and demonstrated rightly, eased me and released me to find my equality with the client, one that enables my meaningful participation in the journey of discovering his or her potential.

Virat Kohli – world number 1 ODI batsman as per International Cricket Council’s rankings. Rohit Sharma, right behind him at rank 2. Goes to prove that India has some of the best batting talents in the world. If I had to name someone who could teach Virat and Rohit how to bat, it would be really hard to think of a name. Most critics of the game mention how Virat is a better batsman than even Sachin Tendulkar. The Sachin fan in me disagrees, but when I think rationally, I’d tend to agree. But wait, from what I learnt of Coaching, we don’t need a ‘somebody’ to coach a ‘somebody’, even in the world of cricket. I guess that’s why Sanjay Bangar, the comparatively unknown batsman was a successful batting coach for Virat and Rohit. In his 5 years as coach, Sanjay, who scored just one century in his time as a batsman, supported so many other batsmen, definitely better than him in terms of batting talent, in scoring a total of over 150 centuries.

Coaching is not about telling. It’s about listening, more than what is being said and what is being heard. It’s even more important about creating the space for the client to listen intently to what they’re saying and what they’re not. It’s about walking with them in the alleys of their mind and heart, where they haven’t been in for a long while. It is about the client, finding the freedom to be who they want to, and how they want to get there meaningfully.

Coaching is about delighting in Virat being the ‘hero’, not me, Coach Sanjay.


Author: Nathan Prakash

About the Author: Nathan loves people and serves them through his roles as Husband, Father, Son, Coach, HR Professional and Pastor.

Program attended with CTT: ACSTH

Reason for taking this program: To shape my natural gifting in serving people as Coach.

What worked for you: The course with CTT introduced me to a whole new world of coaching. The course I paid for, given my earlier understanding of Coaching, is thankfully different from the course I’ve finished.

What benefits you got: I love best the aspect of ‘equality’ in coaching, given that I was very concerned that my last designation at the organization I worked for, wasn’t flashy enough to be accepted as Coach by the ‘C’ levels of an organization.

Disclaimer :

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Coach-To-Transformation or its parent company.

Rajat Garg
Rajat Garg
Rajat is a Master Certified Coach (MCC) with over 18 years of industry experience and over 2500 hours of coaching experience, helping people and organizations attain maximum effectiveness. His background includes working with CXOs, senior managers, managers and board of directors of small private companies to multi-billion dollar publicly traded organizations.

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