All things Anne Wondra

coach writer muse cat mom

Imagine baseball without coaches. Football games? Soccer? Tennis?

Are coaches needed? A lot of kids play backyard games without coaches, though one could observe a parent or somebody acting like one. A coach observes from another perspective than a player does; and a coach can observe how players interact together and who’s skilled at what.

There’s a model of teamwork that’s cooperative, constructive, and collaborative instead of competitive, where players are encouraged and supported in building their skills, their character, their strengths, intelligence, health, and fitness–everything that’s used both in sporting games and teams, and also in real life families, workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities. Coaches can facilitate that…or focus only on numbers.

Personal growth and social development are built into us; we came designed that way. At birth, we are utterly helpless; and as grown ups, no one is completely self-sufficient. We need nurturing, support, safety, and love to thrive. In groups, teams, families, projects, personal endeavors, we complement each other’s abilities and create something added.

The environment always wins.

Thomas Leonard

And who sets up that environment?

In team sports, it’s often a coach. Ever watch a little league game and pay attention to how coaches (and parents in the stands) talk to those kids. Some ‘get’ that the game is not really about the score board–it’s there and it’s a marker in a game; what’s more important, though, is that this game is about providing an environment for young players to grow and thrive in–in their real day-to-day life off the field, too. Social skills modeled and learned in a game, carry over to character development, citizenship, and adulthood maturity models.

Then one day at work, I stumbled across an article about a brand-new profession, “coaching.” (This was the late 1990s–it was all so new back then.) Coaching was a burgeoning industry focused on helping set and achieve goals, both personal and professional. One of the things that resonated with me was how coaching was distinct from psychotherapy. Therapy is about healing the past. Coaching is about creating the future. (Side note: … Even as a seventeen-year-old, I knew blaming your parents for what’s wrong in your life wasn’t productive. I walked to the bursar’s office and immediately switched my major to business.)

Marie Forleo, Everything is Figureoutable

Like Marie Forleo, I too found that new profession of “coaching” at work, a human resources training and development seminar, and then a professional coaching conference. I, too, was excited with how much it resonated.

As wellness coordinator was in my human resource job role, I saw coaching as a dynamic, pragmatic, powerful, and effective wellness self-management approach. I brought what I learned back to my corporate playground.

Honestly, I was more enamored than most corporate shop and office employees were; coaching was so new then. Wellness coaching was different, also, in that it wasn’t a medical or disease-centered model; it was whole-person life and well-being-centered–as in, what is in our personal power to make better, and live life more vibrantly as a result? That, to me, was channeling energy productively, constructively, and self-empowering on all levels. Coaching wove together health sciences, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, and total youth ministry components of my prior profession, for an all-encompassing vehicle of health, happiness, and human development!

I still have all those wellness resources and share them.

Personal Growth and Self-Development Coaches

We’re not in little league anymore; and the one setting up our environments is ourselves or our boss or supervisor–or maybe WE are now that supervisor, or grandparent, or role model.

Self-Actualization, Maslow’s term for our ultimate zone of being fully who we are–in sync with our core, or Soul, which is always evolving, because it loves Life flowing through us! It’s a game, you see.

And we’re all playing! Scoreboards are not the real focus; our personal growing and total well-being is. Add a good coach–one who makes it a good experience of self-actualizing fun, total well-being, health, and happiness all around–and it’s a witnessed and celebrated adventure. Here’s how to get started when you’re ready! Enjoy the game.


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