top of page

Sandrine Gelin-Lamrani

Coaching - From Yesterday to Today

Le Coaching – D’hier à Aujourd’hui

The Anglo-Saxon term "coach" is a derivative of the French word "cocher", itself derived from the word "kocsi" which originally means "large horse car" in Hungarian.

The first meaning of this "coach", led, around 1830, to the figurative meaning "instructor / trainer", in the slang of the University of Oxford, to designate a tutor, a mentor, who "transports" the pupil towards an exam. Coaching first appeared in the United States in the early 1960s. It has its roots in cybernetics (1940s), the Palo Alto school (1950s), New Age (1960s) and observation of therapists like Milton Erickson or Virginia Satir.


It was imported from the United States to Europe in the 80s - 90s. The forerunners of this approach, John Whitmore and Tim Gallwey , described their methods of support in the world of sport from the 1980s by evoking "the inner game" "The inner game".


John Whitmore's bestseller “The Coaching Guide” was a big part of the concept's dissemination from there. Coaching has been developing all over the world. It remains predominant in North America and Western Europe.

The coaching profession is represented by multiple national, regional and international federations. The largest International Federation is the ICF: Fédération Internationale du Coaching .

  • Created in 1995, it has 35,594 members today. Its mission is to advance the profession, by setting high ethical standards, providing independent certification and creating a global network of accredited coaches, represented in 119 countries today.

The last ICF survey on coaching dates from 2015, here are its main lessons:

  • Market estimated at $ 1.5 billion worldwide. The market is dynamic and growing.

  • The typical profile of the coach, all countries combined, is a woman (67% of coaches are women), aged 46 to 55, practicing her profession for less than 5 years and holding a higher education diploma.

  • Two-thirds of the coaching clients are managers and business leaders. The majority are women (54% of coaches' clients are women, 60% of whom are under 45).

  • There are around 53,300 Professional Coaches worldwide, with almost 70% of them based in Western Europe and North America.

  • The majority of coachees do not finance their Coaching themselves, it is generally done by a third party. The proportion of clients who pay for their Coaching themselves (direct clients) is notably higher in North America (50%) and lower in Western Europe (40%).

Coaching - Its applications

bottom of page