From Athletic Coaching to Leadership Coaching: Taking Your Development Seriously

by Rozella Haydée White, LEAD Consultant

I’ve been coached since I was 13 years of age. I grew up cheerleading in Texas. Contrary to what many think, cheerleading is INDEED a sport. Not only did I take it very seriously, I still do! I began cheering in middle school and continued cheering through my senior year in high school. I “lettered” in cheerleading, earning patches that went on my letterman jacket for cheering on both the junior varsity and varsity competition squads.

After I graduated from high school, I began dancing on college dance teams. All of these teams had coaches that crafted our practices and provided us with the tools needed to grow our skills. We provided the raw material with our physical bodies and talents and they provided the frameworks needed for us to excel.

Not only was I coached during this time, I also worked as a coach to a high school cheerleading squad. I loved this work. I have always been passionate about helping people develop their skills and my time as a cheerleading coach was no different. I was able to accompany my squad members not just in the task of cheerleading but also in their development as young women. I provided accountability and support, while empowering them throughout the year. I did this work throughout my twenties until life changed and coaching seemed to be a thing of my youthful past.

I encountered coaching again during my time in seminary. This time, it was life and leadership coaching rather than athletic coaching. There were people in both my personal and professional life that did something other than mentor me. They asked me thought provoking questions that made me look within for answers. They encouraged me to articulate my goals and helped me craft plans to meet them. They were concerned with me reaching my fullest potential and would recommend resources to aid in my development. These people were as much coaches as any athletic coach I had as a young person.

While a well-known tool for empowering and equipping leaders in other industries, coaching is still misunderstood or unheard of within faith communities. Many of us know the power of therapy, mentoring and spiritual direction but we haven’t explored how coaching might be a tool that is beneficial to ongoing leadership development.

LEAD is an organization that believes in the power of coaching to help people become faithful leaders who nurture their spiritual lives while growing in their adaptive skills. Much like the athletic coaches of my past and the coach I was to young people, LEAD coaches are a resource to empower leaders in their ongoing development. Athletes wouldn’t dare compete without the support of a coach. Why would leaders, tasked with transforming faith communities and influencing the world, NOT partner with a coach in order to fulfill their call?

When was the last time you had an accountability partner? When was the last time you did some serious visioning for your own leadership? When was the last time you created space in your life to listen to your leadership voice within? When was the last time you had someone cheering you on as you continued to develop your gifts and passions?

It is LEAD’s goal to offer excellent coaching services to leaders and teams that help you understand yourself, envision change and transform your community. Consider partnering with us today. I promise you, it’s worth it.

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