Attributes of a Master Coach

This is the third article in a series of cross posts from TMS Online, Talent Management Solutions’ web based repository of HR and talent management related tools and resources for the small to mid-market organization.  These writings are intended for a business audience, but the content relates well to endurance multisport as well.  Follow this link for more information about TMS Online and Talent Management Solutions.  You’ve seen this one before, but I’ve since made a few edits.  The three bulleted items listed under each attribute are competencies from the TMS Competency Model.


Many view an athletic coach as only as good as his/her team’s recent performance.  Consequently, a Master Coach has a legacy of consistent success over multiple years.  How many of us would have the same expectations of leaders in the workplace? 

While a solid track record of success is important, we can identify those competencies that lead to such consistent success.  So what other qualities describe skills and abilities of a Master Coach?  If you needed to recruit a Master Coach or develop that ability in your existing talent, what competencies would you look for?

Attributes of a Master Coach:

1. Has obtained and maintains a high level of technical expertise in the area they are coaching.

  • Openness to Others
  • Functional / Technical Skills
  • Initiative

2. Can accurately assess an individual’s capacity often before they can and seeks to leverage this capacity for success.

  • Assessing Talent
  • Visioning
  • Ambition

3. Sets the bar appropriately high for long term goals and breaks those down into achievable intermediary targets.

  • Thinking Strategically
  • Goal Setting
  • Judgment / Decision Making

4. Collaborate on ways to close the gap between current skills and targets.

  • Influencing Others
  • Developing Others
  • Problem Solving

5. Motivates people to continue the work that leads to higher performance levels.

  • Managing Execution
  • Motivating Others
  • Directing Others

6. Implements feedback loops to keep track of progress against targets and enabling refinement of the plan as necessary.

  • Confronting Others
  • Adaptability
  • Continuous Improvement

7. Fully invested in the coached employee’s (or athlete’s) positive outcome.

  • Leading Courageously
  • Integrity / Trust
  • Relationship Builder

8. Presents self as a role model for success and achievement.

  • Credibility / Values
  • Self-Awareness / Confidence
  • Empowering Others

If you do the work, you can have your organizational bench filled with Master Coaches.  Or you could wait and hope your competition doesn’t do it first.  The choice is yours!


Each of these attributes is associated with competencies from the TMS Competency Model.  With access to TMS Online or by purchasing our TMS Competency Success Kit,  you can rate your current talent on these competencies and find helpful tips on how to develop these in your leaders.  Further insight can be gained through the TMS Human Patterns psychometric assessment and by using TMS Leadership Coaching services.

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