Coaching is at a crossroads as it moves into its second decade as an emergent profession. In some ways, its future will depend in part on its search for a past. As such, this paper offers an historical framework based on Peterson’s (1991, 2004) work on the evolving relationship between science and practice in psychology across three eras the preprofessional, the scientist-practitioner, and the professional and a fourth era, the postprofessional (Drake, 2005), which began in 1990 with the identification of systemic evidence as an explicit basis for practice. Lessons to be learned from these eras by coaches are identified while recognizing that coaching is, in many ways, an unprecedented phenomenon that requires new levels of thinking. The second half of the paper lays out the possibility that a fifth era is dawning the era of the artisan in which coaches are seen as master craftspeople skilled in an applied art. The role of evidence in a new era is explored as part of a larger goal of helping coaches and coaching evolve and, in doing so, find their way home to their deepest calling and contribution.
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