The origins of life coaching come from the world of professional sports. From the 1970’s, the managers and trainers of sportsmen and women who wanted to become champions began to recognise that achieving their goals was as much about self-belief and a positive mental attitude as it was about natural talent and technique. It also became clear to them that no aspect of life can be considered in isolation. It was not just about training and fitness. The coaches learned that success in the sports arena was massively influenced by other factors such as the players’ relationships with their friends and family, their business and financial concerns, their spiritual and religious beliefs and all the trappings of fame and celebrity.
From the world of sports, the next stage in the development of professional life coaching was in the boardrooms of the world’s top companies. These major companies started to understand that their senior executives had to be treated like sports stars if they were to achieve everything that they were capable of; and that concerns outside the office or serious work/life balance issues were unlikely to result in the best decisions being made in the office. These days it is rare to find a major multinational that does not offer Executive Coaching to its Chief Executive and Directors. Top politicians and government officials have also become regular users of Executive Coaching services.
Now the word is spreading to the rest of us: We too want to be successful in all aspects of our lives. We too want to be the best person we possibly can. We too want to be brilliant and happy, challenged and fulfilled. This is where life coaching comes in for all of us.
Please click here to read a much more detailed "History of Coaching".
If there is one book that could be said to have initiated today’s professional coaching industry, the overwhelming consensus is that book would be “The Inner Game of Tennis” by American author Timothy Gallwey, first published in 1975 – and available from the Bookshop on this website.
By watching players talk to themselves on court, Gallwey identified the struggle going on between the conscious and the sub-conscious mind. The inner game of tennis is the game in which your opponent is not another tennis player but a set of more elusive opponents like fear of failure, nervousness and self-doubt. Through his book, Gallwey transformed the concept of sports coaching to a process that was primarily concerned with unlocking people’s potential to maximise their own performance, accompanied by a belief that this is actually more important than acquiring technical skills.