Etymology and origin of Coaching

The etymology of the word “coach” goes back to the middle of the Fifteenth Century where the little village of Kocs, to the west of Budapest, revolutionised the burgeoning transport industry in making a new, more sophisticated, lighter and more rapid type of carriage. The name of this little village finished by being directly associated with the fact of travelling from one place to another in a rapid and efficient way. It is from there that the root of the word “coaching” derives.

The double sense of the word “coach” – as a carriage and a sports trainer in English – is a metaphor which illustrates for certain people, (coachs), the phenomenon of identifying themselves as a means of transporting others,(clients – the coached), towards their objectives with the greatest chance of success, the most speed and in an economical manner.

If the etymology of the word takes us back to Renaissance epoch Hungary, the experts agree in saying that the concept of coaching goes back to Classical Greece. It is to Socrates in fact that we owe the principle of helping to learn by contrast with teaching.

More recently, “coaching” has begun to be known in the sports world thanks to Tim Gallwey, the author of a work entitled:
“The Inner Game of Tennis”, where the ‘inner’ refers to the mental state of the player. To go back to his words, “what is taking place in the spirit of the player is more important than what is happening. He puts forward the idea that if a ‘coach’ succeeds in making his player eliminate or reduce his own internal obstacles that liberates a surprising natural capacity, without having to submerge it in technique.

Thus Gallwey laid the foundation stone in the world of modern coaching in asserting that “coaching consists in liberating the potential of a person in order to allow him to develop his achievements.