Well you don't, it just helps, a lot. You want to compete at a professional level, say in sports, no requirement to have a coach. Most group sports have them, but as for single events, you are just fine going at it alone, if you know what to do and how to train to improve yourself then you likely be just fine. If just fine isn't good enough, then a coach might be helpful. Someone who has been through it before and is only concerned with helping others navigate and train.
I am in my seventh year as an assistant professor at a medical school. I have been involved in teaching as early as med school, where I taught fellow students as well as assisted in classes for physicians. I continued teaching throughout residency and so teaching at the medical school level was a natural fit. I had no idea what I was getting into in medical school when I first started, but after 13 years of this process I have learned a thing or two about this formative process. OK so we have to throw the credentials out first. Med school + 2 residencies, that was an 8 years process and then the years since teaching. My entire professional career is based around teaching and helping formate students. Making strong students is my goal and my passion.
So why do you need a coach? Well we find coaches in a lot of areas. We mainly associate coaches with sports. Professional athletes have coaches. Think about that. These athletes have trained their whole lives, nonstop. Think about Olympic athletes. The highest levels of physical achievements and they still need coaches. Weird? No coaches see the big picture, coaches have been down the road already and have come back to help formate the athletes in the correct way to be better than they were. So think about med school now, or dental school, or law school, basically any professional school at the doctoral level. Think about the schooling to get there. Elementary school, junior high, high school, college, graduate school, doctoral school, specialty training after. Up through the point of medical school I would have been in grade 18. 18 years of my life working up to the point of medical school and not one coach. Professional students are just that...professionals, akin to athletes. Not everybody who wants to get into these schools gets in, just like athletics. Med students make up about 1% of all the students at the collegiate level. Pretty exclusive. And those that get in, how well do they do? They rely on their skills they developed themselves over the years. Well how bout specialty training. I specialized in Family Medicine, well there must be mentoring there. nope. A lot of watching and passively learning.
So all this way and no coaches. Because we associate coaches with sports and education has always been a lecture format with the teacher spouting information and its up to the student, we aren't treated like athletes are. Yes there are plenty of teachers, but do they act like coaches? No. I played soccer up through college so I am aware of why you need coaches. It is a game, it is a competition, you are going to battle when you compete. There is strategy. We all know this, we see coaches at half time or a time-out scribbling furiously, motivating, working with the athletes to achieve the goal. The coach is an integral part of the team. So think now about education and why you might never have had a coach? Well is there competition? yep at the college level where you apply and interview, all the way up through doctoral school and beyond, each step requires you to compete, but who helps with this process, who makes sure and lays things out so that you succeed? The counselors? Do they really care? Some do, but not the same way a coach does. There are coaches from the moment you start sports at age 5 or earlier, and they never leave,
So its interesting that they are not in academia, even though we have to compete for the higher levels. Who is rooting for you and strategizing on how to do it better?
This is what this program is. There is a lot more to school than just the test and the learning. Do you know that? Do you know that you aren't supposed to study all the time at the expense of yourself? Do you know how to take care of the apparatus that studies? (That means you) Do you know how to integrate your studies with your life? Maybe you have a family, maybe you have another job, there is always something else? Do you know how to study effectively for this new program or do you just plan to do the same thing that you have done since high school or earlier. Will that work the same?
This is what this program strives to do. I would very much like to work with you. I am not promising an easier way of doing things. This program is hard, and it demands that you work hard on you training, no matter the field. But like an athlete, if you train correctly, and you training hard everyday. You get the rewards.
Institutions want you of course to be the best, but can they guarantee expertise, what are the guarantees? That you will graduate...does that equal mastery or mastery path? Med school prepares you for residency, so then that is where they develop in you the expertise? right? what do they guarantee? Will you be happy with the satisfatory level of completed the requirements. On the diplomas it says.. so and so has "satisfactoraly completed the requirements for XYZ degree." Is that enough? Well if you haven't been through it, what would you think? Whose job is it for mastery development?
If the responsibility falls on the institution then you are good...just plug in and go. If though the answer to any of these questions falls on you...then what's your plan?