Introduction

There are many books about coaching. Whether a reader thinks they are useful or not depends largely on what that reader already knows, what they want to know…and what they are willing to think about.

This volume originally intended to take the learnings of over 40 years playing and coaching experience and combine them with the things the authors were willing to know. In it’s writing however, we discovered a lot of what we thought we knew, we actually didn’t. And much of what we wanted to know, we ultimately couldn’t. Further, like most people, we remained ever partial to ideas that supported what we already believed to be true. So, while we claimed to be willing to know anything and everything worth knowing in relation to coaching, the actual process of embodying new ideas wasn’t as straightforward as we had expected.

To write the book we wanted to write, it first meant we had to change what we were willing to know – And for anyone who has genuinely tried, that is a lot more difficult than most people think. It required us to face realities obscured by ego, conditioning and traditions within coaching culture and very often, within ourselves. We were forced to accept that some fundamental concepts delivered through our respective educations simply didn’t work when translated to the field of play. Repeatedly, we found situations where methods employed by highly regarded coaches were noticeably lacking in aspects critical to both the effectiveness and evolution of our art. After decades of experience, their emphasis remained inexplicably centered on processes that made little difference to the outcome and left key determinants of performance to be treated as secondary, if considered at all.

The fact that critical success elements seemed to exist outside the awareness of so many coaches was ultimately instrumental in the naming of this volume. After toying with “Old Way, New Way, My Way, Dumb Way” and “The Thhrrrrppth of Coaching” (as inspired by a picture of Calvin & Hobbes fiercely blowing raspberries at each other in the midst of a mindless argument), we settled on the somewhat more conservative title of “Conscious Coaching”. Whilst not really proposing anything revolutionary, the philosophy presented within Conscious Coaching may paradoxically appear to be just that to anyone whose habitual, unconscious notions and patterns have never been made ‘conscious’ before. To those readers, the process of generating new awareness will be the equivalent of creating original and previously unperceived realities. And surely that is nothing short of revolutionary.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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