Finding the Sweet Spot – Coaching Beyond the Numbers

Finding the Sweet Spot – Coaching Beyond the Numbers

logo_for_the_sweet_spot_by_dkrouts-d4748vcFootball season is about to start in the U.S.…which brings to mind a huge difference between coaching in sports and in business.

Successful football coaches know how to hit the Sweet Spot. In business, coaches typically don’t.

What’s the Sweet Spot?

It’s the balance between “numbers and plans” coaching and “observations and skills” coaching.

Think of it this way. A football coach knows the numbers…the stats and score in the game. The coach also has a plan for execution of plays needed to win the game.

But football coaches also intensely observe the behavior of their athletes on the field. How well they throw, catch, run, block and tackle. This prepares the coaches to provide specific advice to help players improve their performance and win.

How valuable would the football coach’s advice to players be during halftime if the coach spent the first half of the game in the locker room?

In sports, we expect coaches to watch players in action and tell them what they can do to improve their skills.

Unfortunately, in business we accept much less.

Is your boss spending the game in the locker room?

Scarier yet, if you lead others, are you?

Next time you watch your favorite athletic competition, watch how the coaches are watching the players…

And then aim for the sweet spot to better coach your team to victory.

Your thoughts?

Julie Freeman is Regional Director for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

Cohen Brown Management Group is the internally recognized leader in sales-and-service cultural and behavioral change, specializing in consulting and training processes for management, front-line, support/customer service units and call centers. Performance Grapevine provides thought leadership insights on sales training, sales management, leadership training, time management, consultative selling, behavior change, organization change, and culture change.


  1. Alasdair 13 years ago

    Given that observation is such a key part of coaching, how do you effectively coach a team or individual when they are remotely located and you do not get to observe their performance. Also there is nobody to do a proxy observation. Al

  2. Great Comment!

    Virtually every type of face to face coaching can be done remotely.

    For example, the player can practice with the coach by phone and/or web, or practice with another person with the coach observing by listening/viewing. The coach can also listen into/observe phone and/or web meetings that the player conducts (of course with pre-positioning as may be required). In these instances the coach observes and subsequently provides feedback and builds skill with the player…. all without being with the player in person.

    Since so much contact with clients/prospects is done by phone, practice and rehearsal by phone is a great way to simulate actual conversations. Additionally, coaching by phone allows for shorter, more frequent and time-saving sessions.

    Your thoughts?

  3. Kevin Gustin 13 years ago

    Another aspect of sports coaching is that the performance expectations are very clear, the players know exactly what is expected and what success looks like. The coach then has specific examples of how the players did or did not meet expectations and where they need to focus additional training and/or coaching. Kevin

  4. Thanks for your comment Kevin. Totally agree!

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