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Olympic Gold – Michael Phelps | The Importance of a Coach

If you are like most Americans, you are likely aware that the Summer Olympics are in full swing in London. For great reason, much attention has been given to Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. As of the writing of this article, Phelps now holds 19 medals and has broken a world record – Making him the most decorated athlete in Olympic history! While impressive, this article is not so much about Phelps as much as it is about the coach behind him: Bob Bowman. In an interview with Coach Bowman, he spoke about how he prepared Phelps for Gold. The key here is PREPARE. A coach is not about telling someone what to do, but running them through drills and processes to help them prepare for all eventualities.

A coach is about helping someone think differently and approach physical challenges with ease. Coach Bowman spoke of a training session when he purposely stepped on Phelp’s goggles and cracked them without him knowing. Phelp’s was forced to swim with his goggles filling with water. While this seems cruel, in 2008 Phelps won an Olympic medal with his goggles filled with water. Coach Bowman had prepared Phelp’s for this earlier in his coaching drills. Phelp’s knew what to do and he overcame the problem by counting the number of strokes he needed to get to the end of the pool.  Phelp’s won Gold even with cracked, water-filled goggles.

My role as a coach and consultant is much like Coach Bowman. While I won’t step on your glasses and make you give a presentation blinded (necessarily), my job is to help you plan, prepare and imagine the world beyond your current abilities.

The time to prepare is not when you’re getting ready to jump in the pool with broken goggles. The time to prepare is now. If you’re waiting for the right time, the right economy, the right season or age; you’re going to wait yourself past your opportunity!  Act now, prepare now. Your success awaits you!


Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/President of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667

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