Coaching Resources & FAQs

These PDFs and videos will help you get started on your coaching journey. 


1-1 Coaching


State Associations


1. Do I need to be a member of ICMA to participate in 1-1 Coaching?

No. Due to the generosity of the sponsors and partners for the ICMA Coaching Program and volunteer coaches, you do not need to be a member. Since ICMA membership has many benefits, we encourage you to consider joining.

2. What's the difference between a coach, a catalyst, and a mentor?

Some people use "coach" and "mentor" interchangeably. In the ICMA Coaching Program, we use the term "coach" to refer to someone who is helping others find the answers for themselves. This fits well with the interests of aspiring professionals to gain insights from others but blaze their own trails. A catalyst is a type of coach who accelerates action and precipitates results for others without becoming consumed in the process. A catalyst keeps the player in charge of his or her choices. In contrast, mentors often refer to people who teach others and guide them in how to do things. This works well when there is a specific body of knowledge that someone wishes to learn. So, a coach and a mentor are tools for different purposes. You'll probably want one or more of both and who they are will likely evolve over your career.

3. How often and over what period of time should a coach and player meet?

This is up to the coach and player. Some meet initially in-person or over the phone and then have occasional check-ins. Some make other arrangements. It's up to your mutual decision. You can decide to start and stop a coaching relationship as you see fit. See ABCs of 1-1 Coaching

4. How many coaches should I have?

Just as top sports players have multiple coaches (one overall, another for a particular skill, etc.), you may wish to have more than one coach. You might have one coach who helps you as you navigate your overall career. This might be an ongoing relationship of several months or more with occasional check-ins. You might have another coach (perhaps even one suggested by your career coach) for a targeted time to help you address a special need or insights about a particular subject or situation.

Please send any further inquiries or feedback to Don Maruska at