What Andy Murray’s Wimbledon Victory Tells Us About Coaching

What a glorious contrast to recent weeks of doom and gloom was Andy Murray’s second Wimbledon triumph!

And it was a vintage weekend for British tennis, with Jordanne Whiley winning the ladies’ wheelchair doubles and Gordon Reid, triumphing in both the wheelchair singles and doubles (with Alfie Hewett), not to mention Heather Watson’s success in the mixed doubles.

Lendl 1Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Murray’s victory was his relationship with his enigmatic coach, eight-times Grand Slam title winner Ivan Lendl. Without Lendl in his corner, Murray’s dedication and hard work have made him the second-best tennis player in the world, and arguably the best Britain has produced; reunited with Lendl, his tennis reached a new level in the 2016 Wimbledon Final.

It’s also worth noting that Murray’s opponent in the Final was Milos Raonic, at 25 the most successful Canadian tennis player ever, described by the Daily Telegraph as “an analytical character who questions everything he does in practice” and who recently strengthened his coaching team with the addition of another multiple Major winner, John McEnroe. According to the Telegraph, “Raonic insists that he simply wants the most eclectic range of viewpoints possible. ‘I take everybody’s consultations very personally,’ he said. ‘It is my job to weigh up what they’re worth and work out what is best for me.’”

The simple truth is that having someone alongside you who understands what it takes to be even better, someone who has “been there and done that”, can and almost certainly will enable you (and your organisation) to achieve better results.

A report by the American Management Association, Coaching – a Global Study of Successful Practices, shows that “Coaching is associated with higher performance”. It goes on to say that “respondents from organizations that use coaching more than in the past are also more likely to report… that their organizations are performing well in the market… in the combined areas of revenue growth, market share, profitability, and customer satisfaction.”

In summary:

In today’s highly competitive and uncertain world, any individual, or organisation, needs to be travelling along a path of continuous improvement – how far, and how fast, depends on the individual sector and circumstances. However good you are, however successful, there is always room for improvement. A coach, with relevant experience, knowledge and insights can help you to identify those marginal gains:

  • by asking questions that need to be asked;
  • by challenging the status quo;
  • by providing encouragement and support;
  • by being both part of your team and apart from it.

As motivational speaker and business coach Nigel Risner puts it, “you have to do it by yourself and you cannot do it alone!”

Just ask Andy Murray.

What to do now:

If you’d like to explore how coaching could help you develop better strategy, more effective implementation and more engaged, productive people you can find out more about my POSITIVE Leadership programme here.

Source: Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl triumph in Wimbledon’s battle of the super-coaches


Stephen Spencer is a keynote speaker, business coach and consultant, helping organisations create better Customer Experiences to unlock team and profit potential. He has over 25 years’ experience as a leader, trainer and experience developer with some of the UK’s most prestigious Retail, Tourism and Hospitality brands. Sign up for Stephen’s POSITIVE Customer Experience newsletter here.

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