I’m proud to be a coach

Angela van SonFeelings24 Comments

The word coaching gets a lot of rolling eyeballs. And yawns. At network meetings people politely don’t sigh. “A coach? How interesting. I just met 5 other coaches.” The term coaching is used so broadly that you probably can get clip your toenails coaching these days. Yet, I’m proud to be a coach.

I think I was in secondary school when I first read about coaching. I was totally impressed with what I read. And I hoped that one day, when I grew up, I would work in a company that would let me be coached. It seemed a great way to learn, to grow, to change your life. The people who talked about it had become happier and wiser. And the company paid for them. Coaching was for CEO’s and high potential people back then, not for normal human beings like me.*

Nowadays, you can call anything coaching. I think I saw bike coaching somewhere. It meant that people helped you park your bike. I would Google for more examples, but I dread it. It’s too discouraging.  In the Netherlands there are about 45.000 coaches on a population of 17 odd million people. World wide, there are probably millions of coaches. Which could be a great thing, if only all of these coaches delivered great quality.

Why not call yourself a coach? I’ve seen people encouraging each other: “You can call it coaching, you need no formal training or license”. I got very moody when I read that. I’m not saying one cannot be a good coach without formal training. Some people are born coaches, otheres develop coaching skills in another line of work. But indeed, good coaching requires both talent and skills. And knowing what the heck you think you’re doing.

Why call yourself a coach? The backlash is that some coaches go out of their way not to call themselves coach anymore. They are enablers or best friends or magicians or whatnot, according to their websites. I found some coaches dissing the word coach, trying not to be associated with it. They are even spreading the negative image. I found that shocking.

I get it. I get the rolled eyeballs, I get the coaches who try to avoid the word, and I get the people who sigh and think ‘please, not another coach’. I get it, but I don’t agree. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

“I’m a coach. And I’m proud of it”

Coaching has helped me change my life. Several times already, and always for the best. It has helped me through struggles when I couldn’t find a way to help myself. It has made me a nicer human being (really, I am a lot nicer when I have less stress). Coaching also helped me find new ways to do things and new paths to walk – the kind of paths and ways that really suit me.

I know I’m not the only one. There’s scientific research that proves it happens.** A lot. In my own work, I’ve witnessed clients get a better relationship with their loved ones. Finding their way when they were lost. Becoming assertive and daring to take a stand. And lots more. People changed their lives. They liked themselves more. And they improved their relationships. Or they opened an Etsy shop ;)***

So yes, I’m proud to be a coach. Nobody will take that from me. And yes, I am formally trained and certified. I would have been an okay coach without it. Now I’m an effective, fast and creative coach that creates great results and lasting effects.

* I never became a CEO, but I ended up being coached after all. When I was burnout, the organisation I worked for paid for coaching to help me get back on track. I suspect that coaching could even have saved me from getting ill. I’m not complaining though. The burnout period has been a great, positive influence on my work.

** If you think people are biased because they paid for coaching, check out these reviews of free coaching done in flashmobs. It’s an inspiring page!

*** One day after I wrote this post, I saw a blog written by a client. She shared what my work has meant to her. One thing was opening her Etsy shop. A dream she had procrastinated on…




24 Comments on “I’m proud to be a coach”

  1. Avatar

    Good for you, we all need to learn to ignore the General Consensus about ‘Coaches’. Must admit over the last few years a suspect reputation has kind of evolved because there are just too many imposters. Keep on coaching. As for myself I call myself a Network Marketing PRO and an gent of Change. 🙂

    1. Avatar

      Good for you, we all need to learn to ignore the General Consensus about ‘Coaches’. Must admit over the last few years a suspect reputation has kind of evolved because there are just too many imposters. Keep on coaching. As for myself I call myself a Network Marketing PRO and an Agent of Change. :)There was a Typo Error in the first comment.

      1. Angela van Son

        I kept both posts Gertraud, because it shows how much you care about good quality.

        Agent of Change sounds a bit James Bond like to me 🙂 Shake it, don’t stir!

  2. Avatar

    I’m also a coach. Proud of it and call myself a coach. Of course, I niched early on (networking and social media). Having a niche in front of “coach” has given me a lot more credibility. Also trained, though currently not credentialed (issues with availability of CEU credits).

    Keep calling yourself a coach. As long as the good ones keep doing it, we’ll do fine!

  3. Avatar


    I’m not a coach, but I totally laud you for stepping up with pride and dignity to claim your rightful place among those who give the name and profession its fair shake in light of the vast numbers who tend to abuse the ‘title’…

    Oh my…Soooo many folks have I met over the years who adhered the title to their name in some form or fashion and had no right to do so. I’m not even going to give examples – some were downright sad.

    However, I met an incredible Coach about 7 years ago (my first real live one at that!) who had been ‘Coaching’ for nearly 5 years at that point; is it possible he was one of the first?, LOL.

    Anyway, here’s a short story on how I was Coached (quite out of the blue!)…

    By the way, his name is Ron Renaud who now works for thecoaches.com….

    A phone call out of the blue, lasted less than 20 seconds..

    “Hi, my name is Ron Renaud, is this Brian Bender?” – Ron


    “We need to talk. Are you free tomorrow at noon?” – Ron


    “Can you meet me at the Dunkin Donuts in Rotterdam?” – Ron


    “Great, I’ll see you then.” – Ron. We hung up.

    The next day we met, he exclaimed how he had been following my video blogging for 6 months, and although we had never met before, he had a suggestion. “You need to take your YouTube series ‘Tractor Talk’ on the road. There’s no reason why you wouldn’t earn at least $5,000 per speaking engagement.”

    Now…the whole meeting lasted no more than 30 minutes, but I got what I still consider today as the best Coaching from a bona-fide Coach.

    Angela…If ever you manage to jump across the pond and find yourself anywhere in the vicinity of West “By God” Virginia, I’m offering you a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts for 30 minutes of your time!

    ‘Till then – Rock on!

    1. Angela van Son

      I didn’t know there was a Dunkin’Donuts in Rotterdam 😉

      Great story. You are such a good teller of stories! (I’m not saying storyteller, because to me that sounds like you’d make them up).

      The coaches.com are the source of my certificate, they provide fantastic coaching training. I’ve been coached by coaches from another background last year, but I quit. I wanted the best coaching I could get for my money. I have a brilliant co-active coach now, who keeps suprising me.

      It would be great to have a cup of coffee together 🙂

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    I like the word coach – I picture someone on the sideline pushing me when I’m exhausted. To me it means someone in my corner rooting for me. 🙂

    1. Angela van Son

      I may use that description to improve my website Joanne, it makes a lot of sense to me. Rooting is definitely part of what I do. A bigger part than people expect. A nice part too. Thanks!

  5. Avatar

    As a real estate agent, I’ve used several coaches, and they’ve all been a huge benefit to my business. Good coaches should be proud to use the title.

    Sorry I didn’t take the time to comment yesterday when I tweeted it.

  6. Avatar

    Thumbs up for being proud! You’re a good coach. I understand your feeling as the word coach is popping everywhere but I feel like Joanne, I love the word, I also feel like someone on the sideline is helping me keep up.

  7. Avatar

    This is awesome Angela. Am I the first to notice how cool/on point that facial expression is in your header? 🙂

    Hope to chat more, would write a longer comment but I have to go Xmas shop.


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    Fantastic that you’ve found your calling! My personal experience with coaches has been really positive. I think you have a lot to be proud of! It must be mutually inspiring to help people take a giant leap forward.

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    I can sense your passion in your writing. I’ve definitely seen the term “coach” pop up everywhere these days, but that doesn’t mean human beings aren’t in need of them. In fact, people need coaching more than ever! I call myself a health coach and I wouldn’t change helping people for the world.
    erica lawrence: naturopath – body ecologist. recently posted…healthiest smoothie in the universe: a perfect balanceMy Profile

  10. Avatar

    I have a little bit of an issue with the title “coach”. Coaching is often what I am doing but since I am not interested in team sports and do not employ that terminology I am at a loss at what to call myself (besides a teacher, an instructor, or perhaps a mentor.)I am considering a formal coaching training in addition to my academic one but the lack of a precise title is stopping me… Suggestions, anyone?

    1. Angela van Son

      Paula do you know this site: http://www.thecoaches.com/?

      I’m in awe of the coaching training I’ve received through them. And of all coaches I know who have the same training. They are GOOD.

      I don’t do anything that’s sports related, but I guess coaches do what sport coaches do: helping people reach their goals and be the best they want to be.

      I’m tempted to ask coaching questions around what’s stopping you in not having a precise title. I’ll resist the temptation 😉
      Angela van Son recently posted…Even procrastination coaches procrastinateMy Profile

      1. Avatar


        Thank you for the link. I will check it out. I would also, with your permission, like to answer your question privately (soon or as soon as we get defrosted from this polar vortex). Please, do not resist the temptation to ask questions – sometimes those are better than actual answers. Other people might benefit from hearing them, as well.

        1. Angela van Son

          Permission granted 😉 Too tired tonight to think of questions, but you make a good point there.

          I’ve been taught to do no coaching without permission of the person, so I apply that on my site as well. I think it’s a good rule.

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