by Alan Elmore
Training and coaching are often used interchangeably. As a result, many trainers are looking to either make the change from trainer to coach or add coaching as a tool in their toolbox. On the surface, it may seem that many of the skills required for success in training are easily transferable to coaching. In actuality, as an experienced and degreed training professional who recently made the transition, there are stark differences in the skill sets required. These differences show up in the frequency of the sessions, the structure of the sessions, and the nature of the sessions.
Trainers are well-served by recognizing and understanding that coaching is a natural and essential progression point after training has been completed. Learning happens as a result of training, and it is through coaching that improvement takes place. In the chapter “Training Ain’t Coaching” I use my experience of coaching my son’s basketball team to describe the transfer from training to coaching professionally. In both cases, it is important to first teach the skill with training. Once this is achieved, the opportunity is there to improve potential with coaching. When this happens, what is required can be done more quickly and effectively.
My intent with the chapter is to provide guidance and preparation tips to other training professionals looking to make the transition to coaching or add the coaching skill set to their repertoire. Training truly ain’t coaching and at the same time the transfer from trainer to coach can be much easier if it is clearly understood what training is and is not from the start. Additionally, through the chapter, my goal is to help current training professionals understand and appreciate as I have, how the journey from trainer to coach is a wonderful experience and opportunity.