Good Coaches VS Friends

As I keep journeying on and I keep making progress and I continue to have crazy girl meltdowns, I am realizing that there is a difference between a coach and a friend.

A friend will

  • listen with compassion to the woes of your heart
  • will hold you as you cry out your fears, frustrations, and heartache
  • they will cry with you
  • they will get angry with you over the things that make you mad
  • they will cheer for you no matter what
  • they will run to your side when you fall down and make sure you are ok and perhaps even encourage a small break while you get your bearings again.

A coach will

  • draw a line in the sand and expect you to cross it
  • they will not cry with you when you fail or when you are having a breakdown
  • they will always encourage you to keep going
  • they have been hired to do a job, to get you to goal, and they will do it at all costs.
  • they will hold the line firm.  They will set the bar.  They will accept nothing less than your best.
  • they will stand nearby when you fall, encouraging you back up and right back into the race.  No breaks, no rest.  Just get up and keep going.

My struggle is I want my coach’s to be my friends.  When I am in a tough place I want them to dig in with me and help me figure out what is going on.  I want them to be like the man I call “Coach” and Aaron.  I want them to tell me that they understand and all that other stuff that tells me I am not alone.

But I am realizing, if they are to be good coaches, if they are to get me to goal, they can’t also be my friends.  Not like I would like anyway.  There has to be a separation of sorts. They can’t blur the lines with emotional stuff or they will not be able to hold the line firm for me as I press on.  A friend is likely to drop the line and swoop in to rescue me when I flounder.  A coach, a good coach, will not.

This journey is forcing me to learn to set aside my ever relational heart and to learn to let go and simply trust another.   When my coaches don’t respond to me in a way that necessarily feels good or feels compassionate, I have to remember, they have a job to do.  They cannot allow themselves to get entangled in my “stuff”.  They must remain objective.  They are there to create the plans that will get me to goal, not to hold my hand when I fall. I am grateful for this.  I am.  I see the need and value in it.  AND it is a hard line for me, being who I am.

It has only taken me 5 trainers/coaches to realize that this “line” is not a personal thing…it is a professional line.  I think I need to start learning quicker.


One thought on “Good Coaches VS Friends

  1. Very, very insightful Kim. I think we all need a team made of our our professional experts – including coaches and friends, as well as colleagues on the journey who have walked the walk and know exactly how it feels. I have found that having the right support team, for whatever phase I am in on the journey can make all the difference. I think you have that too and are noticing the subtle yet distinct differences between coach, friend… Thank you for this post.


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