Let’s start by taking a step “back” to understand the origin of the word “coach”. This is an important part of the coaching process as it helps to solidify your understanding your role as a “coach“. Failure to embracing this understanding can prove fatal to your efforts.
The word “coach” is actually a reinterpretation of the word “kocsi” which originated in the 15th century in a small Hungarian village called Kocs located west of Budapest. The village of Kocs is famous for its creation of horse drawn wheeled carts, wagons, & carriages used to transport people and products between the neighboring towns of Vienna and Budapest. The horse drawn vehicle was initially named “Koczi szeter”, translation “(carriage) of Kocs,” until shortened to “kocsi”. As demand for the horse and carriage grew countries began to transliterate, write, the word to fit their language. Examples include the French who translated the word to “coche”, Germans to “kutsche“, Romans to “cocchio“, and Americans to “coach“.
Coach – From Horse & Carriage to Tutor to Athletics
In the 18th century, specifically 1830, the word “coach” took on a slightly different meaning at Oxford University in England where it was used in an academic setting as a slang description for a tutor “carrying” a student. The “tutor” became known as the “coach” because of their unique ability to help struggling students pass exams. The same applied to athletics as “coachers” were known for helping athletes to train and prepare for events. These became known as “coaches” in the late 1880s.