You don’t get anything from coaching………. honest….

“We all know what it takes to get on in life and work and our own attitude and commonsense determines how we succeed. Workplace coaches and mentors are not needed.”

so said Anne Widdecombe at a conference in 2008. Wise words………

Steve Davis is 52 years old and is taking part in the Snooker World Championshipsat this week. He started the competition as a 500-1 outsider and in the second round he faced John Higgins the defending World Champion and hot favourite to take the crown again this year. Davis is a previous 6 times winner of the chamionship but his last win was in 1989 so he wasn’t expected to go further than his meeting with Higgins.


However, Steve pulled off a huge shock by beating Higgins and in an interview following the match he credited his victory to a technical change in his game. This wasn’t noticed by himself or a fellow pro but a visitor to his website, who pointed out that he was moving his head before completing his shot.

“My first reaction was: what does he know? But he was right.”

On receiving the e-mail, Steve had a look at a few videos of himself and saw that the visitor to his website was indeed correct. As a result his game has improved immeasurably culminating in his victory over World Champion Higgins.

I think this is the whole point of coaching. Steve Davis has been playing snooker for over 30 years and has many many trophies to demonstrate his skill and expertise in his field. If he can miss something as simple as lifting his head when playing a shot what can we pick up from a coach who can help us take a fresh look at our work and life issues?

Coaching can help us gain a different perspective on the issues we are focussed on, by a coach encouraging us to take an objective view of situations and look at the scene from a variety of views. The answers, as Anne Widdecombe believes, may well be within us but as Steve Davis has found out it often needs someone on the outside to help us find the answers.

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