One size does not fit all. Coaching is a bespoke, ever-changing, tailor made interaction – specifically catering to each athletes bespoke needs. The fundamental principle of being humane pioneers, however, skill acquisition, session design, coach-athlete relationships and all else will be piloted to achieve specific outcomes. The fundamentals of trust, communication and compassion will enable all of the ‘coach-specific factors’ to be most effective.
Removing the Sherlock Holmes detective trench coat, make reading how to coach your new athlete simple – bluntly ask them. “How do you best receive information? Would it be useful if I used video? Diagrams? Physical demonstrations?” This will give you your foundation layer to building an empire. In the four walls of the safe-zone training courts, continue to test different methods – see how that athlete reacts best to you, how that athlete works best under your leadership. Continuously have open-conversations with the athlete to understand their thoughts on the coaching interactions.
“What happens if an athlete requires you to lay into them? To maybe fire them up in-game and make them perform better?” The fundamental principle discussed in the first blog post remains, making the “laying in” most effective. If the coach has harsh words with the athlete during a game, and there is no mutual respect demonstrated prior – that relationship will slowly or rapidly deteriorate. Secure foundations prepare the relationship for rocky and torrential bursts, however sustainability and strength will prevail.
Bumps in the road will occur, you won’t always get it right, but if you’re always focused on what’s best for the athlete with no hidden-agenda you can’t go far wrong; communication and compassion will always support the journey.
This series will see me dissect the elements that, I believe, portray the best coaching practice – questioning, game-sense, reflection and more to be revealed.