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Coaches are the people in our lives who drive us, inspire us, motivate us, and, perhaps most importantly, are able to look at us as impartially as possible with their trained eyes, and see the areas that need the most improvement.
They aren't always tactful, or even kind, (though its nice when they are) but they always tell us what we need to hear in order to improve.
As with mentors, be selective. Judge both by results, and by feel.
It should feel empowering to be in the presence of your coach, to see the improvement and possibilities.
At the same time, they should push you past your comfort zones, and encourage growth which, at times, could be painful.
A great coach will be able to empathize and help you through, or provide advice for, those growing pains.
"you're likely to feel some stiffness in your legs after today's martial arts class - remember to stretch your legs!"
"you're likely going to feel some anxiety over this multi-million dollar deal - just remember that breathing exercise!"
"This book is likely going to make your brain hurt - remember to offset the epiphanies with some comic books"
Ultimately, a great coach is like great art: Subjective and a personal choice. Evaluate your coach the same way you do your art. Does it move you?
Recommended Viewing: 40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes
Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts