Coaching is a formal relationship between a coach (person with experience and skills) and the student. The coach has the ability and experience to help the individual development in the skill set. The relationship will be formal and time-bound, ending when the objective has been achieved. The coach develops a plan using their skills to help the student develop. Because of this, the coaching will be focused on specific needs.
The coach must be skilled and experienced in the area they are working in. Good communication skills are critical, the ability to both listen and explain complex subjects. Therefore their written communication skills are important, they must be able to write detailed and comprehensive plans.
Coaching focuses on assisting an individual in specific areas of development. For instance, a football coach can help a player develop their skills. A qualified driver can get coaching in specific areas by working with a trained driving instructor. Therefore, in both examples, the student is benefitting from the greater experience of their coach. Specific goals have been set and achieved at which point the relationship ends.
Coaching is a formal relationship that can help an individual develop specific skills. The teacher helps students gain new skills by passing on their knowledge. It is important not to confuse coaching with mentoring, see our article on Mentoring for more information