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#AskNick: Build Your Brand as a Coach by Putting Your Students and Others First

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I have been coaching since 1957. I had the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life throughout my worldwide travels.

Believe me, after all my experiences, I feel qualified enough to know and feel who is a coach when I meet one.

Many of the coaches I’ve met are not always from the world of sports. They can be parents, business leaders, and others that coach their children or colleagues to achieve their potential. The game may change for all of us, but one truth is forever: We are forever coaches.

Successful coaches have that little something to take a student’s performance to another level. A coach’s dream is to enable people they work with and help them reach maximum level of ability.

This is easier said than done. A coach must understand their student’s needs, moods, and fears. It is a must for coaches to gain the respect of their students.

A true coach goes the extra mile, often set for an instructor or teacher. A coach develops an understanding of the true personality and hidden traits of their students.

The history books are filled with talented players that never made it because they took to the road without a coach. One reason may be they had no choice due to limited funds. This means we must find a way not only to help talented athletes, but also people of the world who have nothing!

My wife Cindi and I have adopted two sons from Ethiopia. We tell them everyday that in time, they must also help those that have zero or little chance to even life a normal life!

A coach establishes a bond of trust that is similar to a parent. The same goes for a professional sales manager or other business coaching teams. Parents must seek to understand their kids’ needs and personality as well.

If we coach from our own needs and not our student’s, we eventually jeopardize that success of the coach, the student, and the parents. The very best coaches have the ability to push students to limits they were unaware they even had.

Bot, some coaches push beyond this level. They fail to accept that there are limitations. It took me years to accept limitations!

Remember, your coaching style is your brand. This brand will label your legacy forever as a coach who cared. A caring coach is one that whole-heartedly believes in their student and their mission!


About Nick:

In 1978 Bollettieri founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, now known as IMG Academy, the first full-time tennis boarding school. He has coached 10 World No. 1 players including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Venus and Serena Williams, Boris Becker and Maria Sharapova. Along with his success as a coach, he has received countless honors, among them induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, United States Olympic Committee National Coach of the Year award and the ITF Lifetime Achievement Award. Bollettieri is widely considered to be one of the most influential people in the sport’s history.

Read more articles by Nick Bollettieri

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