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I was lucky to listen to Victoria's inspiring personal story firsthand. This is a story of how 'average' (actually, bad) managers nearly destroyed her career and how a great mentor believed in her and helped her to be where she is now. She went through extreme crises during her career and yet not only survived but won! 

She characterised her younger self as a very emotional and not very confident girl. She was a single girl on a team of male cyclists and no one actually knew how to deal with her. Her first coach / manager was brutal enough to tell her that she won't succeed in cycling with her skinny body. Her second coach in Switzerland criticised her constantly and did not allow any positivity in their relationships. It resulted in her failure during Athens Olympics when she was so broken, that she almost stopped her career as a cyclist. 

And then, Professor Steve Peters came in her life. What a change! 

A psychiatrist who was not a sportsman (and actually did not know much about cycling) believed in her and offered his support. These relationships saved her and brought Victoria to the top.

So, what happened and why did it work so well? 

First of all, he helped her to change her mind from Fixed to Growth (and she got it!) 

Second, he believed in her and encouraged her to change. She said she never experienced such a belief and trust in her abilities – it was something new and amazing! 

Third, he allowed her to realise her emotions and thoughts and envision the person she would like to be (based on his Chimp Model – extremely enjoyable read by the way) 

Points above might sound simple, however it is not simple to enact and build such relationships. 

It might not be easy to believe in yourself and sometimes it takes someone else to believe in you first! 

Therefore when you think about coaching relationships, think about how you would like to build these relationships. Think about what you expect from your coach and what you can commit to.  Be honest, open and proactive and you will see how these relationships become the most gratifying and successful in your life.