The original sense of the word coach is that of a horse-drawn carriage, deriving ultimately from the Hungarian city of Kocs where such vehicles were first made. Students at the University of Oxford in the early nineteenth century used the slang word to refer to a private tutor who would drive a less able student through his examinations just like horse driving
Britain took the lead in upgrading the status of sports in the 19th century. For sports to become professionalized, “coacher” had to become established. It gradually professionalized in the Victorian era and the role was well established by 1914. In the First World War, military units sought out coaches to supervise physical conditioning and develop morale-building teams
Several studies have shown health coaching to be effective in improving various aspects of health. One study on type 2 diabetes concludes that after six months, individuals who were coached showed improvement in medication adherence. Coaching had a positive effect on patients’ knowledge, skill, self-efficacy, and behavior change while a non-coached control group did not show any improvement. Additionally, coached participants with a hemoglobin A1C over 7% showed significant improvement in A1C.
A study on coronary heart disease indicated that patients in a coaching program achieved a significantly greater change in total cholesterol of 14 mg/dl than the non-coached patients, with a considerable reduction in LDL-C. Those involved in the coaching program showed improvements in secondary outcomes such as weight loss, increased exercise, improved quality of life, less anxiety, and improvement in overall health and mood.
Another study shows that telephonic coaching is an effective program for assisting individuals with self-efficacy and weight loss. Confidence to lose weight increased from a baseline of 60% to 71% at three months, 76% at 6 months, and 79% at 12 months. The average body mass index significantly decreased during this interactive coaching study. The average baseline was 32.1 and then documented at 3 months (31.4), 6 months (31.0), and 12 months (30.6).
A study on tobacco cessation concluded that after 12 months, the coached participants had a 32% quit rate compared to 18% for non-participants. Those that participated in the program, who acknowledged that they were ready for change, had the highest rate of quitting at 44%. Additionally, 11% of participants who did not quit reported a reduction in tobacco use. This is considered a positive outcome because other studies have shown that when individuals reduced their tobacco usage, they find increased motivation to quit entirely in the future.