Are you using the entire coaching court?

Posted on: 11 Apr 2019

“Imagine what is possible when
we give our client[s] the spaciousness of the full court to play in.”


Metaphors are powerful for our clients, but they can also be a powerful lens for gaining a deeper understanding of the coaching process.

Carly Anderson, MCC and ICF assessor, explains that coaching is like playing tennis. She says that as a coach, “We want to use the full range of the tennis court with our client and adapt our game to how the client is playing.”

This means serving the client balls (asking questions) that the client not only can hit back, but needs to stretch a little to get; balls (questions) that get the client moving around the court (seeing the situation from different perspectives). Many coaches like to ‘stay at the net’ and hit balls (questions) back so quickly, the client can’t keep up – or they can’t help but interrupt to insert their thoughts, or show they are the ‘net’  expert by defaulting to mentoring, teaching, guiding, or problem solving. Instead, if as a coach you can move back to use the whole court, avoiding the tendency to play from a comfortable part of the court, then you’ll succeed in “drawing out the client’s inner knowing and self-knowledge.”

Playing the entire coaching court happens when we effectively integrate the eleven ICF core competencies in practice. If, in reading Carly’s tennis metaphor, you realised you’re serving your clients dodgy balls, playing too much at the net, or hanging out in one comfy part of the court, consider joining our TARGET APPROACH Recorded Sessions Round. 

The Target Approach: Demystifying the ICF Core Competencies is a 68 minute audio-visual presentation with Carly that will help you to play the court fully by understanding the essence of the eleven ICF core competencies and how to effectively integrate them all within a 20-60 minute coaching session.

To find out more about the TARGET APPROACH Recorded Sessions Round, click here or simply register here before Sunday, April 21.

Written by Carly Anderson, MCC