The dynamics of coaching: TROA arrow

The logo of the Association for Coaching is formed by 4 arrows. Each arrow has a clearer shape, and is better framed each time. Those who think that this is a randomly chosen layout are wrong. This logo depicts the dynamics of coaching, as we have viewed it since the Association was founded. The coaching process was visualised by our founder Willem Verhoeven in the so-called TROA arrow. TROA stands for Future Image –> Reality –> Options –> Actions. We use this model, which we will discuss in more detail in the article below, as a standard in our coach training programmes. The coaching process is rolled out from here.

Coaching is all about self-direction. Self-steering consists of two important qualities. These are the elements on the top and bottom of the arrow. 1. Awareness 2.

In this article, we will look more closely at all the elements of the TROA model, which together symbolise the dynamics of coaching.

(The text continues below the image)

Consciousness is an important quality for self-management. It is about developing awareness of yourself, your qualities, your weaknesses, your obstacles, the things you like to do, your ambitions, your fears and so on. But also awareness about your relationship with the environment, what do you see happening there, what does it mean, does it suit you, do you feel you can influence it?

Taking responsibility is the second cornerstone of self-steering. Self-steering involves active design-oriented action and not merely reacting to the environment. Do you allow yourself to live through the environment or do you exert influence on that environment? Do you act mainly as a puppeteer or as a marionette? Dependency manifests itself in two ways. Some people are always extremely cooperative. And sometimes this goes so far that there is a loss of identity. In the final analysis, their fate is constantly determined by others. Another manifestation of dependency is what psychology calls counter-dependency. It manifests itself in protest behaviour. People who are continually opposed to others. They are constantly ‘against’, but when you ask them what they are ‘for’, the story often falters.

Acting is goal-oriented. There is no good wind for a sailor who does not know where he wants to go. This is where the issue of vision and inspiration comes into play. The more concrete the images of the future that you want to shape, the easier it will be. Choosing is the key word. When you have 100 priorities, you have none.

This is where self-knowledge comes into play. If you want to be successful, it is better to focus on the things you are good at and enjoy doing. That is where you can become excellent. If you put your energy into things you are not good at, you will at best become mediocre and then you will not distinguish yourself. What are your own qualities, do they match your ambitions?

A good idea is a realised idea. Realising your vision with the qualities you have requires a lot of perseverance and self-discipline. In order to realise your goals, you sometimes have to do things that you don’t really like. How do you summon the energy to do them? How can you create self-motivating circumstances? How to avoid self-punishment?

The TROA model also refers to various competences for profiling or for development during the process. Below are a number of key questions that could be asked at competency level in the various phases of the TROA model:

The Association for Coaching has also developed handy coaching cards from the TROA model. On the back of these cards are 23 coaching questions (divided over the 4 phases of the process: Future vision – Reality – Options and Actions) that you can use in everyday practice to support your coaching conversations. The cards are for sale for € 1,50 each. Look for them in our webshop under Books.

Onze Certified Professional Coach Opleidingen

Below you will find the different Certified Professional Coach programmes and you can click through for more information or to register for the programme. If you first want to get to know one of our trainers and maybe have some questions answered, you can also choose for a personal interview.

Part 1a - Foundation

The foundation in a 2-day programme

Foundation coach

A more exploratory module covering the basic notions and competences of the coach
More information

Part 1b - Foundation

Task competence coach in a 7 days programme - to be followed after part 1a

Practitioner coach

A more technical instrumental part with a lot of attention for the power of questioning, the coach agreement and result-oriented coaching
More information

Professional Coach Week

Task Competent Coach in one intensive week. Part 1a & Part 1b in one training course

Professional coach week

A solid foundation in which you master the skills for result-oriented coaching
More information

Part 1 - Practitioner (ACC)

Competent coach in one 9-day programme - Part 1a & Part 1b

Deel 1 - Practitioner (ACC)

A solid foundation in which you master the skills for result-oriented coaching
More information

Part 2 - Senior Practitioner (PCC)

Competent coach in one 10-day programme - To be followed after Part 1

Senior practitioner coach

In this part, further deepening takes place. You learn to coach on effective behaviour, emotions and working with various tools
More information

In conversation with Drs. Ardie Nooijen-Kuijpers

In conversation with one of our trainers: Drs. Ardie Nooijen-Kuijpers (MCC)

Our trainers are the face of the Association for Coaching. The course participants not only learn from them, but also share a lot with them, like you do with a (personal) coach. Although you are of course in charge of the results you achieve during a training programme, the trainer (i.e. the person) in question does of course help shape your experience of the programme and what you get out of it for yourself in terms of development, in addition to the theoretical and practical part. Our trainers are also coaches in their daily practice.

Sometimes people also want to get an impression or feeling with who the trainers are, when they orientate on a certain course. On our website (menu: About Us > Our Team) the people behind the Association introduce themselves personally with photo. One of them, Ardie Nooijen-Kuijpers, obtained her MCC (Master Coach) title some time ago and this opportunity was perfect to ask her some more questions. This resulted in a nice conversation with an extraordinary woman!

In this video, Ardie tells a bit more about the person behind the trainer, and what her dream is as a coach. Ardie is rather unique, as she was added as the 10th Master Coach in the short line of only 12 MCC’ers in the Netherlands at the time of this interview. You will also find out why she chose this particular profession, and what her motivation was for joining the Association for Coaching. We are proud to hear her say that the Association is the place, as one of the six accredited training courses, where you get the right pokon-food if you want to grow!

Oh, and you will also discover why, according to Ardie, coaching can be compared to throwing boiled spaghetti:)


Click on the video below and get to know Ardie and our wonderful training institute better. A place where you can feel at home.


Self-management as an ideal

In a series of theme evenings at De Associatie voor Coaching, the theme on 25 April 2013 was:

Self-management as an ideal

The notion that the life you have been given (whether or not by a higher power, but in any case by your parents) must also be led, confronts everyone with the question of how to shape that life (yourself) within the given circumstances? A pressing question that becomes all the more pressing in the realisation that the standard course of life framed by traditions and institutions, as it was once known, has increasingly become an individual biography of choice with multiple, overlapping and redeeming lifelines. The rigid boundary between youth and adulthood has become a stretched, less visible trajectory. Being young, becoming an adult and being old are less self-evident.

And with that, life as a gift seems to have become a task. A task that you can tackle with tight, controlled life planning at one end of the spectrum or with a carpe-diem mentality at the other end of the spectrum. Or is a middle way possible? How can I achieve my ideals within the given circumstances? In this theme evening, we explore the concept of self-determination and the conditions under which it is possible. In the metaphor of a sailor, which control technique do I need to take away from the uncontrollability of the elements in order to chart my own course?

Perhaps we will come to the conclusion that self-management is that middle ground between “set in stone” and “let it blow” and this will provide tools for the coach and coachee. But know that even the best sailor must at times take down the sail and let go of the helm. At times, but not before.

Based on Schipperen met het eigen leven (Shuffling with one’s own life), Frits de Lange, essay 2003.

Coaching as a language game

In a series of theme evenings at The Association for Coaching, the theme on 6 June 2013 was:

Coaching as a language game

You hit the nail on the head! A native speaker clearly sees this as a figurative sentence and … ehm … he hits the nail on the head! However, the phrase can also be taken literally, although then it is only a rough representation of reality. What kind of hammer? What kind of a nail? A good whack or a tap? Usually we understand each other well enough, or at least we think we do, but everyday language really seems to be inadequate for an unambiguous representation of what we really mean. And that is perhaps a little awkward, since a large part (perhaps the largest part) of the interaction between coach and coachee takes place through language. And that language must have meaning.

Analytic philosophy, the philosophy of ordinary language, has provided a method for ascertaining the meaning of a language expression. Such a language expression, whose meaning must be explicitly addressed, is a coaching issue. The circumstances under which the issue arose are called language play in the analytical method. If coach and coachee together make explicit the – often implicit – rules of the language game, insight is gained into the meaning of the question. Not infrequently, the answer is then there for the taking.

In this theme evening, we will discuss the language game method as a tool for the coach and the coachee to arrive at an adequate response to the coaching issue.

Based on Denkgereedschap, Paul Wouters, 1999.

Senses in coaching

In a series of theme evenings at The Association for Coaching, the theme on 3 October 2013 was:


 Senses in coaching
…to get out of the frame of reference

Between us and the world are our senses. They are our gateways to the reality around us. Not that this always provides an adequate representation of that reality (just put a stick in the water, it looks broken, but it isn’t). The fact that there is apparently no better information supply than through the senses, is evident from the fact that these are universal. All animal species (including humans) have eyes, ears, noses, taste buds, touch and balance senses, although there are differences in the degree of sensitivity and range of application. For example, a mole is practically blind, an eagle extremely far-sighted, cats may be able to see very well at dusk, but they are colour-blind during the day, and some birds and butterflies can distinguish shades of colour that are literally unimaginable to humans.

With our senses we perceive our environment, as well or as poorly as they are developed, and this happens even unconsciously. Under hypnosis we remember images we were not aware of, under anaesthesia we keep hearing what the surgeons say to each other (so be careful) and smells can take us back to our childhood, to a holiday or whatever. As human beings are primarily visual (the sight) and auditory (the hearing), this theme evening focuses on our olfactory capabilities. Why is it so difficult to identify smells, even though we often recognise them years later? How do odours influence our behaviour and what significance do they have for our social behaviour? And how can this be used in the relationship between coach and coachee?

Based on Verborgen verleider, Piet Vroon et al, 1994

Language, Α and Ω of being human

In a series of theme evenings at The Association for Coaching, the theme on 14 November 2013 was:

Language, Α and Ω of being human

The distance between man and animal was once immense. In contrast to all other creatures, man was created in God’s image. But that distance gradually decreased. Absolute differences eventually proved to be only gradual. The average human can easily see at a glance whether a table is set for 8 or 10, but a hedgehog also has a sense of numbers, only it is lower than in humans (out of a litter of 10, a mother hedgehog will not easily miss one, but that is different with a litter of 3). Consciousness, self-awareness and culture were also reserved for humans for a long time, but alas… Yet there is one characteristic that makes humans human: language! Of course, animals also communicate and of course, they do so with sounds, but you cannot call it language.

Perhaps this is because human language has not evolved from animal communication. That is what we have apart from our language: cries such as “au” or “hèhè”, but also getting goose bumps, stamping your feet or picking your chin. Perhaps human language did not even originate as a means of communication. Where does language come from? Since when have we had it? What have been the consequences for our behaviour? And what has language not changed about us? In this last theme evening of the year, we look a little less at the coaching profession itself and a little more at ourselves.

Based on Dageraad, Rik Smits, 2009.



Coaches profit from research!

The Association wants to actually promote the development of the profession by stimulating small-scale research ‘that matters’. We do this through the project Coaches profit from research!
This project will be carried out in 2015 and 2016. A maximum of 12 participants can take part. We will work in groups of 3 participants.

Science has discovered coaching as a serious research topic. This is evidenced, among other things, by the explosive growth in the number of scientific publications in this field. Nearly 1,500 scientific articles have now been published, half of them in the past five years.

Coaching is still a young field. There is still much to discover. Whether you are conducting your own research or evaluating external studies, there is still a lot to learn!

Coaches can benefit from research by being curious, by bringing practice and theory together in ‘those’ subjects that interest them. You do not only gain theoretical knowledge, but you also learn to apply it effectively. This project offers you basic knowledge of research and analysis methods and ensures that, as a professional, you are a serious discussion partner in the field of research.

After completing the course, you will be able to formulate a research question, draw up a research plan, collect data yourself, contribute to studies by scientists and critically assess studies by others. And above all, you will learn to make this research accessible to the reader.

Our trainers 
Dianne Commissaris – research
Willem Verhoeven – writing
Dirk Verhoeven – marketing
Anita van Vlerken – organisation
Supplemented by external experts, depending on the chosen research topics.

For this project, we are also emphatically seeking cooperation with other organisations, such as Fontys Hogeschool Kind en Educatie. At this moment, it is not entirely clear what the cooperation will look like in a practical sense. As soon as more is known, we will publish it on our website.

Professionalising as a coach in the Inner Circle West and East

For several years now, the Inner Circle has been running successfully in Aarle-Rixtel (near Eindhoven) and at the beginning of this year we also started this professionalisation activity in the East and West of the Netherlands.

Normally, you sign up for a year and work with the same group for a year. In the starting year of West and East we have chosen to leave the possibility open to let the group grow. Therefore, it is now possible to sign up for the second half of this year for the remaining 2 activities.

Purpose of the Inner Circle

The Inner Circle is a platform where professional coaches learn and work together on their goal of improving their professionalism.

    • An important goal is your professional development as a coach: in the Inner Circle you run into colleauge’s from your level with whom you can spar and have intervision, with whom you can practice and network.
    • You will be working on realising an acknowledgement from the professional association (ICF – NOBCO/EMCC).
    • Coaches in the Inner Circle want to develop the coaching profession to a higher level and that is only possible from everyday practice. Your practice, for example.
    • Through the Inner Circle you will be in contact with the profession and (once you have obtained a recognised accreditation) you will have the opportunity to profile yourself via a personal page on the website of the Association and you will be involved in the professionalisation  activities of the Association for Coaching.

If you want to register, you can do so via this link. More information about the Inner Circle, the further programme and the dates can be found on the Inner Circle page.