The issue of hiring the right head coach is a hotly debated topic in all the newspapers, television sport shows and Internet sporting sites.
So how do you go about finding the right head coach for your team?
Because there are thousands of ways of doing it right – let’s start with how NOT to do it!
The term “Sporting Widow” (or widower) is almost a cliche in high performance sport as many, many relationships have fallen apart in the industry due to the demands and pressures of travel, preparation, competition, training camps etc etc.
This article is for all my coaching, sports science, sports medicine and sports management colleagues (and their long suffering partners and families) written after many years chatting over beers and lamenting the challenges of working on the road, away from loved ones trying to balance success in high performance sport with a successful relationship.
Everyone talks about values based coaching.
Lots of people believe in values based management.
And yet…in spite of all the talk about values and the millions of dollars being spent in professional sports around the world on developing values, mission statements and team trademarks, we still have sporting teams being destroyed by unprofessional preparation, poor alcohol and social drugs management, sexual harassment, violence, crime and misconduct.
So what is Values Based Sport how do you create an effective Values Based Sporting Environment?
I know, I know, I know.
This sounds like an advertisement for a new sporting product or new piece of sporting training equipment…the sporting equivalent of the “knife that cuts through a shoe” or the “miracle mop” that does everything around the house including walking the dog, cooking dinner and putting the kids to bed.
But no….this is serious. You can achieve More with Less…this is how to do Less but get a Better result.
After the CLOSING ceremony of every Olympic Games, someone should yell out, “let the (real) Games begin”.
The real “GAMES”…………the junkets and fact finding missions the Sporting leaders from most countries embark on to find out what the USA, Germany, Great Britain, South Korea, China and Australia are doing to be successful in the Olympics.
The logic seems simple enough.
“Our country didn’t win any medals at the Olympics” says the Minister for Sport.
“Country XYZ won lots of medals at the Olympics”, says the CEO of the Sports Commission.
“Therefore if we want medals and we copy them we will win medals”, thinks everyone in the room.
“Hooray!!!! Problem solved – let’s buy some air tickets”.
OK. Let’s talk about how to develop world class coaches.
Grab a piece of paper. On one side of the paper, write down the characteristics of a great coach.
Does your list include any or all of the following:
- Outstanding communicator
- Conflict resolver
- Media manager
- Public relations genius
- Team developer
- People manager
- Technical / tactical / strategic skills of the highest order
OK – now turn the page over and write down a list of all the coach education programs which cover the above?
Is this side of the paper blank? Yes? Then we can begin.
Coaching is creativity.
To the successful coaches of the future, creativity will be a core coaching skill: right up there with communication, passion, empathy, commitment, the ability to engage athletes and sports specific technical skill.
But what does it mean to be creative and to coach creatively. And to coaches who are not naturally creative, can they learn to be?
Or to the coach with a hammer, is every athlete a nail?
There is nothing new about integrating the Mind and the Body to realise successful sports performance. However, what is new is integrating Mind and Body in all aspects of sports coaching and athletic performance every day. This article discusses Sports Psycho – Physiology and challenges athletes, coaches, sports scientists and sporting organisations to reassess how they go about applying the integrated Mind-Body concept in their daily athlete training environment.
So much of the world’s high performance sports dollars (or Yens or Yuans or Euros or Pounds or Pesos or Rands depending on where you come from), time, energy, focus and attention is spent on three things:
- Talent identification;
- Talent recruitment;
- Talent development.
Or if you like, find them, sign them, refine them.
And most of the world has still got it wrong. There is a better way.
“In short science has its limitations. Western science is characterised by
reductionist principles; but we reach a point at which the reduction becomes
disassociated from the phenomena it is trying to explain” P.Jones 1998
It’s time for the Sports science industry to seriously change the way we do business.
It’s time we let go of the outdated, simplistic single cause / single effect model of research and embraced a genuine integrated, multi disciplinary approach to solving performance problems.
It’s time for Performance Science to come of age.
Visualisation (imagery) is a technique which many high performance athletes use in their preparation for peak performance and competition. However, visualisation is just as powerful when used by coaches to enhance their coaching performance. This article introduces coaches to the topic of Coaching and Visualisation and discusses how to incorporate visualisation techniques into your coaching program to increase the likelihood of success.