Eric Hehman is CEO and principal of Austin Asset, a financial services firm in Austin, Texas. When Hehman was tapped to succeed the founder as CEO, he turned to Larry Fehd of Human Performance Strategies for guidance. Fehd offered a blend of consulting and coaching. As a consultant, he offered a road map for Hehman’s successful transition as CEO and firm leader. As a coach, he held Hehman accountable while offering support and candid feedback. “My coach was always asking me, ‘So what are you going to do?’” Hehman said. “He wouldn’t let me duck when things got difficult.”
In June of 2010, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals. In a post-game interview with ABC, LA Lakers' player Ron Artest attributed some of success to his sports psychologist Dr. Nicole Miller. Artest had a history of getting so angry that he had previously gotten into a fight with fans in the arena. The psychologist had helped Artest control his anger and manage stress more effectively.
Quit Tracker aims to motivate you in your goal to stop smoking by offering you health-based statistics that reveal the benefits that quitting smoking is having on your body. The app also aims to gamify your decision to quit by presenting you with virtual rewards as time progresses, such as movie tickets or sneakers that you can buy with the money you have saved.

As Finkle notes, this doesn't mean that company goals aren't supported by coaching—indeed, the coach was most likely hired by the company to support the executive's efforts to achieve those goals. Even so, the role of the coach is not to represent specific company needs or interests. "The perspectives they provide, the alternatives discussed, and everything else has no agenda except to support the coachee," she says.


The BLS reports that the job outlook is best for sports psychologists with a doctoral degree in their specialty. Positions for potential psychologists with master's degrees are limited and candidates may face intense competition for the available jobs. Sports psychologists with master's degrees may expect to work as assistant counselors or in research positions, directly supervised by licensed psychologists. Time spent volunteering with sports teams or interning under the supervision of sport and exercise psychology professionals may also be helpful in obtaining full-time positions.
Executive coaches are at their most dangerous when they win the CEO’s ear. This puts them in a position to wield great power over an entire organization, a scenario that occurs with disturbing frequency. Since many executive coaches were corporate types in prior lives, they connect with CEOs far more readily than most psychotherapists do. They are fluent in business patois, and they move easily from discussions of improving an individual’s performance to conducting interventions that can help entire business units capture or retain market share. Unless these executive coaches have been trained in the dynamics of interpersonal relations, however, they may abuse their power—often without meaning to. Indeed, many coaches gain a Svengali-like hold over both the executives they train and the CEOs they report to, sometimes with disastrous consequences.
Asking insightful questions to help people achieve their goals will always be central to good coaching. However, it is insufficient. We will see more operators with deep industry or leadership experience serve as coaches. The demand for "been there, seen that, done that" coaches will continue to rise, as they are better positioned to help leaders look around the corners. - Shoma Chatterjee, ghSMART

When we came out of the session, he asked us how we each had felt. Some reported feeling a sense of heaviness, others said they felt as if they were floating away. One woman couldn't remember a word he had said the entire time. An older man in a Red Sox jersey said he could hear him but couldn't make out the words. “Me relaxing to that degree made me realize how much my body is fighting to breathe cleanly,” the elderly man said. Another woman said she felt as if she wanted to cry. I shared her emotion. It felt as if something was being taken from me.
How about taking out a pen and paper and making a list of all of the benefits you will enjoy as a non-smoker? Picture yourself in the future, say six months or a year from now. How great is it knowing that when someone offers you a cigarette you find yourself saying ‘no thanks’? Perhaps you can imagine how proud and happy you are going to feel and how proud you will be of yourself. If you’re not sure if you are ready to quit smoking but you would like to consider the possibility, we can take a closer look at your particular situation and likely help you come to a clearer understanding. The initial screening and consultation is free.
Life skills refer to the mental, emotional, behavioral, and social skills and resources developed through sport participation.[34] Research in this area focuses on how life skills are developed and transferred from sports to other areas in life (e.g., from tennis to school) and on program development and implementation.[35] Burnout in sport is typically characterized as having three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a reduced sense of accomplishment.[36] Athletes who experience burnout may have different contributing factors, but the more frequent reasons include perfectionism, boredom, injuries, excessive pressure, and overtraining.[37] Burnout is studied in many different athletic populations (e.g., coaches), but it is a major problem in youth sports and contributes to withdrawal from sport. Parenting in youth sport is necessary and critical for young athletes. Research on parenting explores behaviors that contribute to or hinder children’s participation. For example, research suggests children want their parents to provide support and become involved, but not give technical advice unless they are well-versed in the sport.[38] Excessive demands from parents may also contribute to burnout.
The issue is threefold. First, many executive coaches, especially those who draw their inspiration from sports, sell themselves as purveyors of simple answers and quick results. Second, even coaches who accept that an executive’s problems may require time to address still tend to rely solely on behavioral solutions. Finally, executive coaches unschooled in the dynamics of psychotherapy often exploit the powerful hold they develop over their clients. Sadly, misguided coaching ignores—and even creates—deep-rooted psychological problems that often only psychotherapy can fix.
In order to enhance Bush's performance on the field, Dr. Banks teaches him how to engage in positive self talk, i.e. 'I'm an amazing player' and 'I'm going to win this game!' in the locker room before the game. Dr. Banks teaches Bush how to do positive visualization upon waking up the morning of a game. This involves closing his eyes for 10 minutes and actually visualizing making a successful touchdown pass and winning the game.
Professionals in this field may favor one proficiency over another, as this field does require a distinctive combination of training in both medicine and psychology. With their in-depth knowledge of physiology and kinesiology, in addition to their psychology training, some sports psychologists may focus on rehabilitation and reintegration of athletes after an injury, while others may focus on mental health issues surrounding coach-player communication conflicts or improving team dynamics.

We’ve had the privilege of partnering with the following organizations to significantly impact their performance, culture and bottom-line results. While some of these corporations have directly hired us to work in an executive coaching or training capacity, others represent corporations in which one or more senior executives or partner-level leaders have hired us independently.


At first meeting, coach Sean McNulty was impressive. He had a bodybuilder’s physique and a model’s face. Although he had been cocaptain of the football team at the Big Ten university he had attended, McNulty always knew that he was too small for professional sports and not studious enough for medicine or law. But realizing he had charisma to spare, McNulty decided, while an undergraduate business major minoring in sports psychology, that he would pursue a career in executive coaching. After earning an MBA from a leading university, McNulty soon became known in the local business community as a man who could polish the managerial skills of even the ugliest of ducklings.
Positive psychology is the scientific study of what's right with people, of what makes people thrive and flourish. In the coming years, executive coaches will be using the scientific principles of positive psychology to help their clients create more positive, more productive, and more profitable workplaces, and also apply these principles to their own lives. - Laura Belsten, CEO PARTNERSHIP

One of Google’s earliest executives, Chade-Meng Tan, teaches a popular course for Google employees that helps build such qualities. It’s demonstrated positive benefits for success and wellbeing. And much research confirms that self-examination is critical for leaders’ positive development. For example, Scott Keller, a director at McKinsey & Company, described the importance of overcoming self-interest and delusion in the Harvard Business Review. He emphasized the need for openness to personal growth and development, because “deep down, (leaders) do not believe that it is they who need to change...” and that “the real bottleneck...is knowing what to change at a personal level.” Self-awareness also expands the capacity to know what not to pursue, not just what to go after, as Greg McKeown, CEO of THIS, Inc., described regarding what he learned from an Apple executive.
It might take the full 10 years, but coaching will begin to rise in popularity over consulting. Aging demographics will demand a vast transfer of institutional, industry and professional wisdom. Consulting augments gaps in knowledge, but coaching emphasizes the transfer of wisdom. Smart young leaders will seek to learn, as talent becomes harder to "rent." - Jim Vaselopulos, Rafti Advisors, Inc.
Skill commonly used for enhancing motivation, focusing attention on the aspects of performance that are most in need of improvement, or facilitating rehabilitation from injury. The establishment of a goal-setting program often includes several common components, including: emphasis on skill development (not the outcome, such as winning), identifying target dates for attaining goals, identifying goal achievement strategies, and providing regular goal evaluation.
Coaching is a form of development in which a person called a coach supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance.[1] The learner is sometimes called a coachee. Occasionally, coaching may mean an informal relationship between two people, of whom one has more experience and expertise than the other and offers advice and guidance as the latter learns; but coaching differs from mentoring in focusing on specific tasks or objectives, as opposed to more general goals or overall development.[1][2][3]
Self-awareness is crucial to leadership and it can be heightened through coaching. To explain why and how, consider the obvious but insufficient explanation for the paradox that CEOs want coaching but don’t pursue it. Stephen Miles, CEO of the Miles Group, that partnered with Stanford on the study, pointed out that to CEOs, “coaching is somehow “remedial” as opposed to something that enhances high performance, similar to how an elite athlete uses a coach.” Moreover, CEO’s say they’re most interested in such skills as conflict management and communication. Yet they put the need for compassion, relationship and persuasion skills far down on their list. They think of the latter as “soft skills,” ancillary at best.
When therapists attempt to uncover so-called repressed memories, they may create false memories in their patients. In the 1980s and 1990s, the notion of uncovering repressed memories via hypnotherapy was very common. Because people are highly suggestible while they are under hypnosis, they may be more likely to “remember” things that did not actually occur, and then fervently believe them when they come out of the hypnotic trance.
“We brought Performance Consultants International in to Mubadala to help us launch and deliver an Executive Coaching programme to the top tiers of our organization. We maintained constant contact throughout the set-up phase. We had a true partnership with Performance Consultants who helped us every step of the way, from concept to launch to implementation and ongoing tracking. The launch event wildly exceeded expectations and the ongoing support I needed was always there. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them for an Executive Coaching framework in any ambitious organization”
Whatever the reason, distinct from other forms of training, coaching focuses on a specific way of “learning” for the executive. It is believed that “the more an individual is involved in identifying problems, in working out and applying solutions for them and in reviewing results, the more complete and the more long-lasting the learning is. This form of self-improvement tends to bring about learning with a deeper understanding than learning that is taught.”[1] Given the right circumstances, one-on-one interaction with an objective third party, who is not tied to the organization or other executive or company influences, can provide a focus that other forms of organizational support cannot. Coaching develops the leader in “real time” within the context of their current job while allowing them to maintain their day-to-day responsibilities.
Individual states not only set the scope of practice for psychologists but determine who is allowed to use the title. In some cases, an individual would be allowed to perform some duties associated with sports psychology but would not be able to use the “psychologist” title. All states license psychologists, but they may exclude some settings (for example, academic settings).
It was a roller coaster of emotion. I really used my illness as a turning point. Since I had to relearn to eat, I started with healthier options, like yogurt and vegetables, and really changed my diet from there. What kept me motivated was continuing to shed pounds, my clothes getting looser, and the sizes getting smaller. I partially became obsessed with seeing how low I could possibly go. Could I get to a size small? A size 5?
During the next year, Nelson suggested a number of personnel changes. Since those came with the CEO’s backing, the HR director accepted them, no questions asked. Because she was afraid to buck the CEO’s handpicked adviser, the personnel director also said nothing about the problems that ensued. These stemmed from Nelson’s exclusive reliance on his profiling system. For example, in recommending the promotion of one East Coast store manager to regional director of West Coast sales, Nelson ignored the man’s unfamiliarity with the region and the people he was appointed to manage. Not surprisingly, that move—and many of Nelson’s other ill-conceived selections—bombed. To compound the problem, word of Nelson’s status and his often horrific recommendations circulated through the company like wildfire, leading many people to both fear and resent his undue influence over Garvin. The negative emotions Nelson generated were so intense that underperforming, newly promoted managers became the targets of an undeclared, but uniformly embraced, pattern of passive-aggressive behavior by the rank and file. Such behaviors ranged from not attending meetings to botching orders to failing to stock goods in a timely manner.
We have created the two-year part-time Ashridge Masters in Executive Coaching in response to the emergence of executive coaching as an established and distinct profession within the international field of individual and organizational development. Our aim is to raise the standard of coaching both professionally and ethically. The program draws on theories from complexity science, sociology and psychology to come to a distinct understanding of organizations and hence the role of both coaches and clients.
Jump up ^ For example, see Media Release 89/70: issued on 12/4/1989, by Peter Collins — who was, at the time, the NSW State Government Minister for Health — which announced that the N.S.W. Government had made "a decision not to proceed with plans to place controls on Hypnosis and to ban Stage Hypnosis". Also, see Dewsbury, R., "Reversal by Govt over hypnotists", The Sydney Morning Herald, (Thursday, 13 April 1989), p.8.
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