With the news that Emma Raducanu is looking for her fourth coach in less than a year, ahead of her senior debut at the French Open today, it’s clear that finding the right coach is critical to sporting success. For ‘commercial athletes’, working with a coach can be equally transformational – helping you overcome barriers, face challenges and drive performance levels. So, whether you’re looking to work with a coach for the first time or, like Emma, feel that a change of coach is required, here are our top tips to help you find the right coach for you.


Do your research:

Start by exploring any coaching opportunities in your workplace. Some organisations offer coaching via internal or external coaches. Speak to your HR team, line manager or look on your intranet for further information.  Next, reach out to trusted sources in your network and ask for referrals. Use websites and directories to point you in the direction of coaches that help with the goal or challenge you want to address. Check that these coaches are accredited by organisations like the ILM. This means they have completed a recognised training programme and work on continuous professional development.


Make a shortlist:

When you’ve finished your research, try to shortlist several coaches whose profiles appeal to you. The next step is to narrow down your list by having a ‘chemistry’ meeting or call with anyone you are thinking of working with. A reputable coach should offer these free of charge. The purpose of this meeting is to explore the suitability of the relationship for both parties.   Its’s helpful to cover the following topics to help you find the right fit:

  • Find out what experience they have of working with people in a similar situation to yours.
  • Understand how they like to work with clients and consider if this feels right for you.
  • Ask for testimonials.
  • Check whether they are supervised – this means they work with an expert coach to make sure they are offering the right support to their clients.
  • Clarify practical points such as cost and timing to check their offer is aligned to your needs.


Remember, the key is to find a coach that ‘feels right’ to you. They should listen, inspire, support and challenge. You won’t truly know you’ve found the right coach until you start working with them but by following our expert advice you will maximise your chances of making a good choice.  All that’s left is to wish Raducanu the best of luck in her opening round match against Linda Noskova and hope that she is match-fit following her recent back injury.


If you’re looking to develop your coaching capability, visit www.diademqualified.co.uk for more information about our ILM accredited level 5 Coaching & Mentoring Qualifications.