The Home and Away philosophy is the cornerstone of all professional sporting competitons around the world. But it is a myth. For the well prepared player and the uncompromising coach, the Home and Away concept is nothing but a sham and a remnant of the “old-days” when sport was unprofessional, coaches uninformed and players uneducated. Now, there are no longer Home and Away Games…there are just Games: Games to be fought and won by the best prepared players and the most uncompromising coaches.
One of the most commonly used expressions around the world is “how long is a piece of string?”. People use this phrase when they want to illustrate a point about a question that ostensibly has no answer. Yet, there is an answer to this question – it is just too obvious for most people to see. Coaches often go looking for complicated answers to questions or want someone else to provide them with the answers for free – instantly. This article discusses the “piece of string” concept in sports coaching and presents a case that for all sports coaches – there are no coaching secrets – the answers they seek are right in front of them.
A head coach can be the catalyst: the driving force who inspires excellence and creates a successful winning culture in a sporting organisation. Knowing this, it is surprising that many sporting Clubs and organisations – even those in professional sport – will often select a new head coach based on anecdote, personality and rumour and not on the outcomes of a rigorous, systematic recruitment process. Many sporting organisations make the most fundamental of all recruiting errors…they themselves are not sure what attributes, qualities and experience they need from a head coach. This article discuss the issue of finding and recruiting a head coach and presents a simple but effective process of ensuring you get your man (or woman).
There are many good coaches in the world all striving to do their best and to help athletes realise their full potential. Some coaches – through their hard work, dedication, commitment, tenacity and creativity make the transition from good to great.
Many people aspire to leading high performance sporting teams, organisations and national sporting bodies. However, most are unprepared for the real challenges of leadership – particularly of leading effectively in an environment of pressure, stress and high public expectations.
They don’t call it the Hot Seat for nothing – the coaches’ box!
The coaches’ box is the place where the coaches sit during the game and make important decisions about tactical, strategic and technical issues that have the potential to impact on the momentum of the game and even change the end result.
Some coaches’ boxes work well.
Some coaches’ boxes don’t.
So what’s the difference?
The Accountability Myth – Why the current Leadership models in High Performance Sport are failing (badly).
Time to be honest about this whole Leadership concept in high performance sport – it is not working.
It’s not working because of the Accountability Myth: The Accountability Myth is the reason why the current Leadership models in High Performance Sport are failing (badly).
Positive Drug Tests in sport.
What sort of idiot trains hard for months or even years then:
- Takes performance enhancing or social drugs before, during or after competition?
- Takes performance enhancing or social drugs at any time?
That’s just it: they are idiots. Well most of them are anyway. Some are misguided. Some are lazy. Some just made a genuine mistake.
Positive Drug Tests in Sport: 6 Types of Drug Cheats and How to Recognise them.
Write down your own list of the top ten skills of quality coaching. What does it look like? Something like this?
- Communication skills;
- Empathy with athletes;
- The ability to engage with athletes and inspire athletes to fully engage with the program;
- Technical knowledge;
- An understanding of the relevant principles of sports science and sports medicine;
- Curiosity (which inspires a passion for learning);
- A commitment to continuous improvement and accelerated learning.
You could add hundreds of skills to this list: experience, drive, initiative, the will to win, attention to detail, commitment, vision, determination, a strong work ethic…………there are as many desirable coaching skills as there are coaches.
But, in this century, there is one coaching skill to rule them all – creativity: creative coaching.
The question is…...can you teach coaches to be creative?
I am getting so sick of people talking about high performance environments, about following a process, about systems, about structures, about programs, about initiatives, about workshops and about strategies.
The name of the game is Winning – oops – there I said it.
Winning. Winning. Winning. There, I said it again.
That felt great. I’ll say it some more. Winning. Winning. Winning. Winning.
That felt so good I’ll do it again. Winning!! Winning!!!! Winning!!!!!
The W Word: Winning.
So Great Britain has an outstanding high performance sports system.
Australia had one a few years ago…and they hope to have it again.
The “Eastern Block” had some brilliant high performance sports systems – systems which influenced the development of high performance sport all over the world in the three decades since.
The Chinese have a huge one driven by State money and a very large population.
The French are doing some great things in theirs.
The US has a strong high performance system driven through the College system.
South Korea, Japan and India are growing theirs. Canada is re-building theirs.
The South Americans will be working hard to make their high performance systems the best in the world now that Rio has been announced as the host city of the 2016 Olympic Games.
South Africa is building one on the back of the Football World Cup.
Seems like every nation in the world has to have three things – a flag, a carbon policy and a high performance sports system.
Here’s the thing…..none of them do what they are supposed to do….none of them actually produce winners.
Having visited more than 30 countries in four continents in the past few years and spent time with sports leaders, coaches, athletes, sponsors, sports scientists, sports academics, sports medicine practitioners, sports administrators, government funding agencies and other sports professionals in many of the world’s leading sports systems,five world wide trends in society
(and by extension in sport) have become very clear and are screaming so loud that they can no longer be ignored.
Ignore them at your peril.