Coaches can make a huge difference. So why don’t you have one?

Athletic Trainer Coaching Rehab Patient at Physical Therapy Clinic San Francisco

In high school, you had parents, teachers, tutors, coaches, and mentors. They helped you in every part of your young life to grow, learn, adapt, and perform. But you lost them along the way and were taught that real men and women go it alone. And now?

The fact is that most people need help to achieve greatness, but don’t ask.

When you get injured, your common sense helps you recover. But when pro athletes get injured, an entire team—coaches, massage therapists, physical therapists, and doctors—is recruited to the cause. The goal isn’t just a speedy recovery, but a return to excellence. Though you may not need the support of an entire team, just getting a great coach on your side can help guide your healing and fitness programs and leverage your recovery time.

And not just when you are injured. People often take up new sports—like pickleball, tennis, skiing, and running—later in life. They just go out and give it a try. More power to them! Yet if they hire a coach, their entry into the sport will be so much better. This is never more true than when people spontaneously decide to get fit. They join a gym or buy a few bar sessions or yoga classes. But if they add a great trainer and design a total body fitness program, their path to health and fitness will be far more efficient and less injury-prone. 

As for nutrition, advice seems to be everywhere. Yet 40% of Americans are overweight. The new GLP drugs will help many, but what people do as they lose weight will determine whether or not any lasting benefits are achieved. Whole-body fitness without personal nutritional guidance and a daily exercise plan is a pipe dream.

Career choices are another area where guidance can make a huge amount of difference. These life-directing choices are often made with little forethought or are determined by outside events that happen to you. My own knee meniscus was removed by a well-meaning surgeon, and only later did my mentor suggest that if I could figure out how to replace it I would make a significant contribution to orthopaedics. He offered to sponsor the work—and that launched my entire surgical and research career. 

Although career coaches abound, they’re often not consulted until disaster strikes. Career coaching should also be an ongoing resource for many of us—especially if our decisions affect not just us, but our families as well. One bad career choice can lead to a lifetime of underachievement. One surprisingly good choice can change everything.

The message is clear. No matter how good we think we are, we are not as good as we could be. That old adage— “Ask and ye shall receive”—applies everywhere.

Medically authored by
Kevin R. Stone, MD
Orthopaedic surgeon, clinician, scientist, inventor, and founder of multiple companies. Dr. Stone was trained at Harvard University in internal medicine and orthopaedic surgery and at Stanford University in general surgery.