We’ve all had coaches at one time or another. Some we were assigned (like in sports), and some we picked ourselves. Some were awesome, and some may have fallen a bit flat on our expectations. Picking the right coach is both an art and science, and we’re here to tell you, through one woman’s story, how she picked her coach.

Enter Elena Margolies. Elena is a 45-year-old mother of two boys. One is in first grade and the other is in sixth grade. Her first grader has mild autism, and her sixth grader is, literally, a genius. Think Doogie Howser. Elena is a single mother whose entire focus is her boys. She works in a law firm but has been through many struggles – at both ends of the spectrum – with her children. All of this leaves little time for Elena.

Her house is stressful 7 days per week and Elena decided to get some coaching to help with her executive functioning skills so she could better manage the plethora of schedules that fill her days. The first coach she spoke with wasn’t the one for her because he didn’t understand at all what she went through. The second coach was better but because she was older and not far from retirement, Elena felt the trials and tribulations of a single mother with a special needs child “fell flat on this coach’s ears”. Finally, Elena decided to change her tactic and went to an organization the learn about what type of coach she really needed and, more importantly, how to find that person.

Here are some tips that are traditionally given to find the right coach and maintaining the right chemistry with that coach. And remember, there is no right or wrong to choosing your coach. It’s really all about the understanding, chemistry, and your ability to work cohesively with that person that makes all the difference in the world. And while these do work, there is a much easier way. Read on to find out what it is.

  • Be realistic about what you want to accomplish with your coach.  Coaching isn’t an “as seen on tv” solution.  It takes hard work and it’s all about building healthy habits that last.
  • Make a list of what you want to accomplish with your coach.  Include your strengths and weaknesses.  Then set goals for yourself that you can discuss with a coach.  When you find a coach that understands where you are coming from and what you want to accomplish – and has a plan to help you – then decide if you are comfortable working with that coach.
  • Throw your preconceived notions out the window and level your expectations.  Coaches work hard to help clients, but clients also must work hard with coaches.  It’s a real partnership you are building.  
  • Ask you family or friends for recommendations.  If they have mentioned they work with someone awesome, ask for the person’s name and contact info.
  • Ask about a potential coach’s background.  Did they grow up the same way?  Do they share the same values?  What experience do they have in the area you want to work on?  Do they typically work with people in your age group?

Now that you’ve read all this, forget everything we told you in the bullets.  That’s the long road to finding the right coach.  Now here’s the ultimate hack.  Take an assessment.  Get matched with multiple coaching options and try a coach for free.  It’s that simple!  And if you don’t like the coach, try another.  You have all the reward and none of the risk with our platform.  And remember, once you narrow your focus, it’s time get to work with the coach that you feel can help you the most.  

Whether it’s a health-related issue, social issue, work issue or other one, your coach should be your biggest cheerleader.  In Top Gun terms, your coach is your “Wingman” and if you saw either Top Gun or Maverick, you know the code in the Navy is to “never leave your wingman.”  Your coach should be there for you through thick and thin – helping you navigate both the calmest and roughest of waters.