What is coaching? What we can learn from the Chrises

Ever stumbled upon the names Chris Brasher or Chris Chataway? Don’t worry, neither did I until I found myself at a talk by the late Roger Bannister at Reading Town Hall. His chat about his epic sub-four-minute mile run back in 1954 brought these two unsung heroes into the limelight for me.

Roger Bannister may be the face of breaking the four-minute mile, but let’s not forget ‘the Chrises,’ as I affectionately call them. Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway ran shoulder to shoulder with Roger, pacing him for half a mile each, cheering him on every step of the way. They trained together, strategised together, and pushed each other, ultimately setting a world record.

This story is my go-to when I think about coaching. Unlike traditional sports coaches, who often dictate instructions, true coaching mirrors the collaborative spirit of Chrises. Coaching, in essence, is about partnership—a journey where your coach stands beside you, challenging, championing, and empowering you to realise your full potential. They are your sounding board, your confidant, and your beacon of encouragement as you navigate new territories.

Coaching isn’t about someone drawing up the game plan or crossing the finish line for you. It’s about finding your Chrises—those who’ll be by your side, cheering you on, and helping you achieve what you once thought impossible.

So, the next time you’re eyeing a goal or dreaming of reaching new heights, think about who your Chrises could be. Remember, you don’t have to go it alone.

Contact me or book a complimentary exploratory call here.

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