Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Climbing on the soap box...

From GRS Blog.... Read at your own risk :)

So I got home last night and posted a message on my Facebook about the fact that I'm starting to believe coaches should have to be certified. Well it lead to a reasonably entertaining wall conversation so I thought I'd elaborate. (edited to add - be forewarned, this ended up being long!) Comments from everybody (coaches, non-coaches, parents, students, bystander X, etc :) all welcome. Does this matter? Do you seek out a certified coach? Why? Why not?

I'll start by saying I think all coaches at the provincial level or LOWER should be certified. I do not believe this for the upper level coaches for a couple reasons. First -- they have the competitive experience to show that, while they may or may not be able to teach, at least they definitely know how to ride. And second -- they are generally teaching upper level riders. These riders have the experience to judge if their coach is worth their money. hahaha I'm at a point now where I don't care if my coaches are certified (I know 1 of the 3 is and 1 is not. No idea about the 3rd. But I've never actually asked any of them :). What I do know is that what they tell me makes sense. When I question them they do not get defensive about it -- instead they explain whatever it is I'm missing. If I were ever to ask one of them to "get on and fix it" (which I never have) I have not the slightest doubt that they'd be able to. And what they tell me greatly improves my horse's way of going. So any coach that can do that does not require a piece of paper to say so. But if I were looking for a coach for my child? Absolutely they would have to be certified. My parents are complete non-horse-people; they had no way of judging the quality of the lessons I was getting. I got lucky and ended up w/ an excellent coach, but they wouldn't've known either way. Hence why I'm starting to believe that coaches teaching NOVICE riders should be certified. Because novice riders don't know what they don't know. They don't know they're in a bad situation until they get hurt. And it's happening all too often.

I absolutely agree that certification doesn't guarantee a really good coach, but I also think it does weed out the really bad ones.

What inspired this little post (well among others - this was the breaking point!) was a case of the underqualified coach teaching the novice who knows no better. So said coach, not knowing what she was doing, instead of correcting and improving her student's ride over fences just kept putting the fences higher. Student in question has no leg, no control over the canter (as horse plowed downhill on the forehand), and was consistently either jumping ahead or being left way behind and thumping on the horse's back. Now fortunately for her, her horse was a saint and athletic enough to do it anyways, but someday she may get on another horse, and then she's going to be in a lot of trouble. (to say nothing of the poor horse!) The coach wasn't doing anything malicious -- she just doesn't know enough to know what was wrong. As far as she's concerned, she's a great coach who's got a great student jumping 3'3". And student's thrilled cause obviously she's an excellent rider. Neither of them have the slightest clue how scary it really is. But the coach should. If she were qualified to actually *be* coaching.

Now there are actually two issues here; there's unqualified coaching, and there's letting students do more than they should. The second one can be a challenge - four times in the last month, I've had new students come to me saying they really know their stuff, can jump X height, yadedadeda. And I watch them and realize they have no two-point, and little to no balance. So we go back to basic position and poles on the ground with maybe a tiny X. And I explain why, and what's missing, and what I'd want to see before letting them *jump* and approximately how long I think it'll take them to get there (I've played that game a few times, I'm usually reasonably good at it). Now of the four, one was a previous student of mine who just hasn't ridden for a few years. Having been a student of mine she knew exactly what would happen and was entirely kewl with it. Especially as we both know she'll be jumping around again after a few weeks since it's a case of out-of-practice rather than actually doing it wrong. One of the others was thrilled. She had, somewhere along the way, ascertained that something was not-quite-right but didn't know what and wasn't about to question her coach. I'm not sure what led her to actually switch, but she seems pretty happy she did. The other two though both declared themselves far too good for that. They *know* how to jump and who was I to try and teach them any differently. They returned to their old coach who'll let them jump high and never actually teach them to ride. I just hope they don't get hurt toooooo badly when they find out the hard way.

Now there's the catch -- by being either incompetent or irresponsible (arguably both), the other coach keeps the business. And conversely, by insisting the basics be solid first, I lose business. To me this is acceptable for two reasons: first, I'd rather loose the cash now than the lawsuit later, and second I'm really not interested in wasting my time, effort, and skill teaching somebody who's not interested in learning. But honestly, when business is tight there's a lot of pressure to give in to this. I've spoken to a few other coaches I know who I deeply respect and they've all confirmed facing the same issue. All have said that in the long run, it's not worth it. Most have said they'll try and find some way around it -- give the ego-student a more challenging horse to make it seem like they're jumping 2' for a reason other than their own lack of skill; this can work but only if you have exactly the right type of horse handy (ie green enough to feed the ego, sane enough not to risk injuring the rider, and confident enough not to be upset when the rider does it wrong). An option I've used in eventing is to take them out and do hill-work. Will secure their position more quickly without making it really obvious that's what you're working on. So there are a *few* ways around it. But in general, the good ones all agreed that you insist on the basics and accept that you'll lose some income because of it.

The other issue is unqualified coaching -- most of whom don't have a clue how scarily incompetent they are. When asked why they don't get certified they'll make up a whole variety of excuses: "it's too expensive" and "it's not fair" being the two I hear the most. Honestly, I understand the "it's too expensive" -- I figure it cost me a little over $1000 to get certified and that was *with* a whole bunch of people donating their time and services to me to get me there (ie, the level 2 coach I was working for at the time helped me get my mentoring hours w/o charging me, several different students lent me their horses at various times to get through the exams (I was horseless at the time), I did some of the rider exams for free, and a bunch of other such things that seriously helped offset the costs). But then, within a couple years the discount on my insurance paid for that. So really if you're serious about the job, it's worth the cost -- in the same way you pay for your undergrad degree to theoretically help you get a future job. You pay a lot to make sure you know what you need to know to be employable. And to make sure others know that you know :)

"It's not fair" almost always comes from somebody who can't pass the riding portion -- and so would never even *get* to the coaching portion! And quite frankly, I'm glad for this. The riding requirements are not excessive -- I passed mine riding a decent school horse of average talent. All you need is a basic level dressage test and to jump around a 3' course. This is PT level eventing people. Put your horse on the bit and keep them there :) My 6yo OTTB spaz who isn't ready to event seriously, could still pass the coaching exam. And be able to jump around with reasonable form. If you can't do this, you shouldn't be teaching. End of story. And the "Instructor" exam (below the coaching, for beginner coaches) requires far less (which, btw, I think is a great addition for those who teach the occasional lesson or summer camp). But again, there are those who don't ride well enough to pass, who complain the requirements are unfair. To me, that's the entire point of the requirements. When I have a student who gets to the point where I can't get on and make their horse go better than they can, I send them to another coach (yes it's happened -- I figure I've done my job well at that point *g*). That's the way it works. And I've had coaches tell me it was time to move on too. The good ones know their limits and acknowledge when a student reaches them. But if you can't pass the instructor level exam (which I can take a teenage non-rider who's brave, athletic and dedicated and get them there in a couple years) who's left that you should be teaching? What do you have to teach them? The *sole* exception to this that I can think of is the senior rider who competed at the very top who has been injured or for some reason is unable to ride -- however, anybody at that level will have the show records etc to prove their abilities.

For the horsemanship portion to be "unfair" means the person simply couldn't be bothered to study. It's broad but reasonably general -- certainly there was nothing particularly challenging in it and while they asked some unexpected questions in the stable-management they could be answered with some quick-thinking and some logic. hahaha or so I found anyways.

Teaching of course is the big issue. Their emphasis is first on safety and second on coaching ability. None of these seem unrealistic or unfair to me. But of the 8 of us who took the exam together, 2 of us passed (and by a huge amount). The rest (one of whom was on her 3rd try!) weren't even close. And shouldn't've been. No crowd control, no ability to identify the student's issues (much less fix them!), confusing or conflicting instructions, etc.

Now in both the horsemanship and the teaching sections there are things that they (as in Pony Club, BHS, and every other system) want done "their way" -- this can be seen as slightly unfair, but any organization that runs exams and require "their" answer. Are there other ways of doing things that are equally safe, equally effective, equally good? Yes of course. Is some of what they require excessive and not particularly practical in "real life" - yes to that too. But an exam scenario isn't real life either. There are no tricks; they are very clear about what they expect. So learn the rules and abide by them. And I have to say, in my exam I did something differently from what they were expecting and they asked me about it but they accepted my explanation as to why and gave me a great score, so they're not just sticking mindlessly to the official guide. There are also THREE examiners. So odds that all three are "unfair" or "picking on" somebody are, imho, fairly unlikely. One, yes you could have somebody having an off day or who just didn't like you, but when there's three examiners that seems less likely.

Everybody who's told me they're not doing (or didn't pass!) the exam because it's unfair imo should not have passed anyways. I'm sure there's an exception (possibly several) out there somewhere -- I just haven't met them yet! And yes you can have a bad day where your horse is not cooperating and fail because of that, that's a huge pita (happened to me in my evaluation -- they told me to find a different horse for the exam!). But they do let you retake just the section you failed... Not sure how much more they can do than that?

And then of course we're back to the comment of "well I've known really bad certified coaches". This one always makes me laugh, because if there are really bad certified coaches, and somebody STILL can't pass, they *definitely* shouldn't be coaching. Don't you think? And yes, it's true. Being certified doesn't necessarily mean you're good (I too know a few who are certified and I always wonder how), or that you're going to apply what you demonstrated in the exam, but it does mean that on at least one day, you weren't horrifically bad and have *some* basic idea of safety.

Alright I'll get off my soap-box now. And don the flame suit on. Comments?

13 comments:

I've heard Eleanor make the same comments. The inept are rewarded financially because they'll tell the student what they want to hear. In dressage it gets somewhat weeded out because when you're getting the scary marks and comments over and over hopefully it might start to sink in. But jumpers... you get around clean, it doesn't matter what you look like! And low level eventing... well, I was shocked when I looked at the Entry A test, and there isn't even a full circle on it. If someone can't steer a full circle reasonably competently, why are they jumping? And if someone can't TEACH a student to steer a full circle, why on earth are they coaching?

 

I totally agree with your comment on the coaches who let the students run the business--ie--jumping too high without a secure position. I have a huge issue with that because, like you said, they will learn the hard way why you need to have the basics down pat.

However, certification is no guarentee that a coach will be able to teach--there in lies my beef with coaching certification. I started the process way back when, and seen the process change about 5 times since.

The bottom line is that the OEF level 1 coaching course is focusing too much on the coach's ability to RIDE, not TEACH. This is why I said I've seen many a poor certified coach--they simply teach far beyond a basic level. They don't know how to break down their knowledge and focus on the basics. Maybe it's the coach? the person doesn't care? Who knows? But there are also active coaches at high levels who are also lacking in interpersonal skills.

Some people might not think it's important, but it is. If you make a student cry/upset them/insult them, what have you accomplished? nothing. Tension and frustration and a student walks away defeated, not to mention how this will translate to their horse.

The coaching certification program has serious flaws, and the two that bother me the most is that if you are a good RIDER, you can pass--but I'm not seeing anything in regards to weeding out people who are rude, insulting and poor at communication with people.

This is a sport in which communication is key--that's what teaching is about. If coaches get frustrated and take it out on their students, imo, they should have their certification burned. Students come to a coach to learn, not be insulted or belittled.

I was taught military fashion. I'm tough. My coaches were not certified, but coached terry libel to her pan am gold. I think that made them fairly knowledgeable.

It's a balance of what you want/need.

The issues at hand? Does a good rider make a good coach? No. I've seen top riders who suck at coaching because, yet again, they can't break down the information on a basic level to help a rider who is less experienced, learn. And that, is, in fact, what coaching is. Teaching a skill to someone. Having them relay it and understand it and develop their own style.

I see far too much 'telling' rather than teaching and sadly, we can't change it all. We can't fix those who will give the kids what they want, and sadly, those kids will have to learn the hard way why you have to work the basics in order to progress your skill.

Bottom line? No system is perfect, but I still believe that certification won't guarente good coaching/knowledge. That's not to say the person is not knowledgeable, it means they don't know how to relay that knowledge. That's my issue with the coaching certification.

One side note about coaching certification: It is expensive, and when finances are tight, not everyone can get certified. Also, there are other reasons why people can't get certified, whether it be health related or so forth.

I still think that if coaches are actively riding, taking lessons to enhance their knowledge, going to clinics etc, that should count for something. I'm seeing many people who coach, but don't take lessons and I don't get it. How can you do something without maintaining/enhancing your own knowledge?

Just some food for thought.

 

I totally agree with your comment on the coaches who let the students run the business--ie--jumping too high without a secure position. I have a huge issue with that because, like you said, they will learn the hard way why you need to have the basics down pat.

However, certification is no guarentee that a coach will be able to teach--there in lies my beef with coaching certification. I started the process way back when, and seen the process change about 5 times since.

The bottom line is that the OEF level 1 coaching course is focusing too much on the coach's ability to RIDE, not TEACH. This is why I said I've seen many a poor certified coach--they simply teach far beyond a basic level. They don't know how to break down their knowledge and focus on the basics. Maybe it's the coach? the person doesn't care? Who knows? But there are also active coaches at high levels who are also lacking in interpersonal skills.

Some people might not think it's important, but it is. If you make a student cry/upset them/insult them, what have you accomplished? nothing. Tension and frustration and a student walks away defeated, not to mention how this will translate to their horse.

The coaching certification program has serious flaws, and the two that bother me the most is that if you are a good RIDER, you can pass--but I'm not seeing anything in regards to weeding out people who are rude, insulting and poor at communication with people.

This is a sport in which communication is key--that's what teaching is about. If coaches get frustrated and take it out on their students, imo, they should have their certification burned. Students come to a coach to learn, not be insulted or belittled.

I was taught military fashion. I'm tough. My coaches were not certified, but coached terry libel to her pan am gold. I think that made them fairly knowledgeable.

It's a balance of what you want/need.

 

The issues at hand? Does a good rider make a good coach? No. I've seen top riders who suck at coaching because, yet again, they can't break down the information on a basic level to help a rider who is less experienced, learn. And that, is, in fact, what coaching is. Teaching a skill to someone. Having them relay it and understand it and develop their own style.

I see far too much 'telling' rather than teaching and sadly, we can't change it all. We can't fix those who will give the kids what they want, and sadly, those kids will have to learn the hard way why you have to work the basics in order to progress your skill.

Bottom line? No system is perfect, but I still believe that certification won't guarente good coaching/knowledge. That's not to say the person is not knowledgeable, it means they don't know how to relay that knowledge. That's my issue with the coaching certification.

One side note about coaching certification: It is expensive, and when finances are tight, not everyone can get certified. Also, there are other reasons why people can't get certified, whether it be health related or so forth.

I still think that if coaches are actively riding, taking lessons to enhance their knowledge, going to clinics etc, that should count for something. I'm seeing many people who coach, but don't take lessons and I don't get it. How can you do something without maintaining/enhancing your own knowledge?

Just some food for thought.

 

I’d just like to say as someone who has had a string of coaches/instructors of varying teaching ability (I have no idea if most of them were certified or not), I've been in that place where I simply wanted to jump higher, though in my defense, it didn't seem like they were actually attempting to teach me anything at the time, it was simply "here's a course: jump it and make sure you go into the corners." Sometimes I got my wish, I was jumping a course or a line that was fairly complicated, and as far as I knew I was doing it perfectly, whether I was or not I'm not sure. I’d like to think I’ve matured enough, and with the help of a coach who is able to actually give me exercises that are both interesting and good for helping increase basic understanding, I’ve made it past that stage. I have a feeling, if, from the beginning I had instructors who all emphasized the importance of the basics, and explained exactly how they helped improve your over-all riding I never would have had that attitude. If making certification mandatory helps weed out some of those instructors, I’m all for it. I’d also like to say thanks to those coaches who are willing to lose some profit in exchange for being a good coach, you are appreciated, and I learned that once that same coach gets past those annoying basics you can do a lot more, jump a lot higher and have a lot more fun than you could before ;) Thanks Lauren :)

 

Problem is, coaching certification won't weed out bad coaches. Bad coaches are those who don't focus on the basics or don't care to progress students. There are coaches out there who are doing it just to make money and sadly, students won't know until they get to a point where they need to know how to ride technically.

But, there are coaches out there who cannot ride in the exams, as a result of injury or age, and that would force them out of coaching.

Coaching programs need to focus more on the coach's ability to teach, to break down information on a multitude of levels in order to reach all levels/mentality. Not everyone learns the same way, and a good coach can break it down so that all riders can understand and furthermore, enhance their own riding to develop their own skills as a rider.

Like you experienced Stephanie, many coaches don't teach--and that goes for the certified ones just as much as non-certified. A piece of paper won't weed out bad coaches. Imposing a some standards/information to those who don't know any better might.

Bottom line? Finding a coach is like finding a good car, good school, good place to live. Investigate. Watch them teach, watch them ride/compete, watch their students compete. Do you like what you see? Does the coach relay information calmly? do they help the student empower their own thinking skills? Does the coach help the student through a problem without being insulting? how does the coach's students progress?

Sadly, not everyone is in a position to lose profit. Being a good coach does not mean getting certified. Being a good coach means you take the time to learn, enhance your own skills and that comes in a variety of ways. Being a good coach also means you listen.

 

Jael -- you're right, the DQ world you can't go very far that way! I've seen it in every discipline involving over fences though *sigh*. I was at one show where the coach couldn't tell her student the difference between the Table A and Table C classes. ummmmm if your students are competing jump you should know some of those real basics. At the same show I heard another coach telling her off-balance, out of control student to ride as fast as possible and then hit the horse. They were fast true. But very scary and demolishing the course. Could tell these stories alllllll day. *sigh*

 

Steph you're very welcome :) I'm glad you stuck it out through the annoying basics so we can play and have some fun now! hahhaa and thanks for commenting -- I've had the conversation with pros of both the certified and non-certified variety, but so rarely do we actually get feedback from the students!

 

Lynn,
Thanks for chipping in -- made for an interesting read.

Ok so first of all, I'm not saying the certification process is perfect -- it's got a long way to go before it gets there. But I think at a very basic level anybody who is not capable of passing it, should not be teaching. That does not mean that everybody who has passed it SHOULD coach. (which seems to be your primary point). Certainly there are people out there who should never teach but may be able to pass the exam. HOWEVER, the point that has not been addressed is that if a person cannot meet the basic requirements to become certified, they should not be coaching -- regardless of teaching ability. These people should teach a subject they *know*. If they really know riding, they'll be able to pass the exam. It is *not* that challenging.

So the certification should be a bare minimum. Then the student should do the coach shopping you recommend (see lessons, talk to other students, etc). I absolutely agree with that -- go see how they teach and if it will suit you. I just feel that that search should *start* with people who are certified. Because you know that they, at the very least, have been through "how to teach", first-aid, coaching theory, mentoring, and a reasonable exam.

As you yourself suggest "watch them ride/compete, watch their students compete" -- most of the people I have an issue with (the reason the issue was raised) would fail that miserably, and hence they cannot pass the coaching exam due to the riding component. The riding requirements for the level one coaching exam are NOT intense. Riding is not the focus of the exam, coaching is. Riding is simply a prereq and a reasonable one. Particularly for the instructor exam which requires "contact" and jumping a 2'6" course -- if a rider cannot ride well enough to pass that exam, the rider is not qualified to teach. Period.

Now of course your point that just because a person has a piece of paper doesn't make them qualified is entirely valid. As in any industry -- I have a very expensive piece of paper that says I'm qualified to program computers in multiple languages, but in reality? Not a chance! hahaha BUT on the flip side, if a candidate is not even capable of passing these requirements that -- as you have suggested, very poor coaches have earned -- then imo they should not be teaching.

 

Lynn,
Thanks for chipping in -- made for an interesting read.

Ok so first of all, I'm not saying the certification process is perfect -- it's got a long way to go before it gets there. But I think at a very basic level anybody who is not capable of passing it, should not be teaching. That does not mean that everybody who has passed it SHOULD coach. (which seems to be your primary point). Certainly there are people out there who should never teach but may be able to pass the exam. HOWEVER, the point that has not been addressed is that if a person cannot meet the basic requirements to become certified, they should not be coaching -- regardless of teaching ability. These people should teach a subject they *know*. If they really know riding, they'll be able to pass the exam. It is *not* that challenging.

So the certification should be a bare minimum. Then the student should do the coach shopping you recommend (see lessons, talk to other students, etc). I absolutely agree with that -- go see how they teach and if it will suit you. I just feel that that search should *start* with people who are certified. Because you know that they, at the very least, have been through "how to teach", first-aid, coaching theory, mentoring, and a reasonable exam.

As you yourself suggest "watch them ride/compete, watch their students compete" -- most of the people I have an issue with (the reason the issue was raised) would fail that miserably, and hence they cannot pass the coaching exam due to the riding component. The riding requirements for the level one coaching exam are NOT intense. Riding is not the focus of the exam, coaching is. Riding is simply a prereq and a reasonable one. Particularly for the instructor exam which requires "contact" and jumping a 2'6" course -- if a rider cannot ride well enough to pass that exam, the rider is not qualified to teach. Period.

 

Now of course your point that just because a person has a piece of paper doesn't make them qualified is entirely valid. As in any industry -- I have a very expensive piece of paper that says I'm qualified to program computers in multiple languages, but in reality? Not a chance! hahaha BUT on the flip side, if a candidate is not even capable of passing these requirements that -- as you have suggested, very poor coaches have earned -- then imo they should not be teaching.

The powers that be in OEF ARE making efforts on teaching about coaching -- this is why the mandatory mentoring hours (which should be taken under a coach the candidate respects and theoretically wants to learn to teach like) and the "Learn to teach" course which explores learning styles etc and the coaching theory course which is all about how to coach (regardless of discipline - I did it with a bunch of soccer coaches :). And yes it's a pita when you're going through it, but it does force candidates to at least consider these issues while going through the process (and while I focus on the EC/OEF system since that's the one I've decided to go through, there are alternatives available -- most noticeably the BHS system which has been established for decades and is not going through the flux ours is. I think you'd find their riding requirements are similar).

As to the different teaching styles I agree entirely. There are lots of different styles and different styles work for different learning types. And the really great coaches can shift their coaching style to suit the learner. Personally I need a coach who's going to tell me when I'm being an idiot. The overly positive ones I learn very little from and eventually come to distrust because when everything is 'good' how do I know what's really good? When my coach tells me it's good, I know he means it. And I know I've earned it. And he certainly doesn't hesitate to tell me when I've screwed up. And I appreciate that too. But his style would be too abrupt or too harsh for many people. My own style is somewhere inbetween and students either love me or want nothing to do with me *g* It's why I offer an assessment lesson first so we can figure out which category each other is in before committing to anything! hahaha I tend to be reasonably positive, but I'm not about to tell a student something's good when it's not. But because of that, they come to trust me. So when I tell them they can do something a little beyond their comfort zone, they know I mean it. A friend of mine once told me "I expect to hat e my coach at least once in my lesson if she's doing her job, but in the end, everything is much better." I suspect there are more people for whom that would not work hahaha but to each their own.

This statement caught my attention -- "Imposing some standards/information to those who don't know any better" -- this is exactly what certification encourages. And is essentially why I feel it should be a bare minimum for coaching. What sort of other suggestions do you have to make this happen?

 

Now of course your point that just because a person has a piece of paper doesn't make them qualified is entirely valid. As in any industry -- I have a very expensive piece of paper that says I'm qualified to program computers in multiple languages, but in reality? Not a chance! hahaha BUT on the flip side, if a candidate is not even capable of passing these requirements that -- as you have suggested, very poor coaches have earned -- then imo they should not be teaching.

The powers that be in OEF ARE making efforts on teaching about coaching -- this is why the mandatory mentoring hours (which should be taken under a coach the candidate respects and theoretically wants to learn to teach like) and the "Learn to teach" course which explores learning styles etc and the coaching theory course which is all about how to coach (regardless of discipline - I did it with a bunch of soccer coaches :). And yes it's a pita when you're going through it, but it does force candidates to at least consider these issues while going through the process (and while I focus on the EC/OEF system since that's the one I've decided to go through, there are alternatives available -- most noticeably the BHS system which has been established for decades and is not going through the flux ours is. I think you'd find their riding requirements are similar).

 

As to the different teaching styles I agree entirely. There are lots of different styles and different styles work for different learning types. And the really great coaches can shift their coaching style to suit the learner. Personally I need a coach who's going to tell me when I'm being an idiot. The overly positive ones I learn very little from and eventually come to distrust because when everything is 'good' how do I know what's really good? When my coach tells me it's good, I know he means it. And I know I've earned it. And he certainly doesn't hesitate to tell me when I've screwed up. And I appreciate that too. But his style would be too abrupt or too harsh for many people. My own style is somewhere inbetween and students either love me or want nothing to do with me *g* It's why I offer an assessment lesson first so we can figure out which category each other is in before committing to anything! hahaha I tend to be reasonably positive, but I'm not about to tell a student something's good when it's not. But because of that, they come to trust me. So when I tell them they can do something a little beyond their comfort zone, they know I mean it. A friend of mine once told me "I expect to hat e my coach at least once in my lesson if she's doing her job, but in the end, everything is much better." I suspect there are more people for whom that would not work hahaha but to each their own.

This statement caught my attention -- "Imposing some standards/information to those who don't know any better" -- this is exactly what certification encourages. And is essentially why I feel it should be a bare minimum for coaching. What sort of other suggestions do you have to make this happen?

 

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