There is a tribe in the highlands of Papua New Guinea who have never seen modern technology, who could not even imagine using the latest electronic tools, who can not comprehend western society concepts of computing, social media, high speed Internet links, laser technology or satellite navigation.
This tribe, believes that the best way – the only way – the way everyone must adopt to cut down a tree is to make an axe by lashing a sharp rock to a piece of wood. This knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries….this tribe knows for certain that the only way to cut down a tree is to use a hand made stone ax.
And then, one day, through the forest, comes a man from the USA carrying a chain saw…….
There is no doubt that successful sports performance is multi-disciplinary in nature. Athletes and coaches need to be aware of the physiological, biomechanical, psychological, nutritional, medical and immunological and other issues that can impact on their competition performances.
It – performance – is rarely – if ever -about one thing in isolation!
Where is Sports Coaching heading? Where will it be in 2030? What will the average coach be doing everyday on pool deck or on the court or at the track or on the field? This article looks at the Future of Sports Coaching and suggests that if you take a moment or two to consider where the world is heading, then you will also see where coaching will be in 20 years.
Here are ten things we should be doing in the interest of helping to educate the next generation of coaches:
Seems like every coach has a video, a camera, a DVD player and some analysis software these days.
Coaches spend more time behind a desk, staring at replays and performance analysis data than they do actually working and communicating with athletes and staff!
Modern analysis techniques and equipment have given us the luxury of detail- the ability to evaluate, measure and analyse performance in far greater depth than ever before.
Most analysis techniques used in elite sport evolved from research methods used in the academic world, where a wide range of analysis tools are used to systematically investigate technique, movement, skills, decision making etc as part of a the study behind a journal article, research project or thesis.
The problem with all this analysis is that analysis, by its nature is destructive. Analysis breaks down performances, techniques, skills etc into component parts or measurable events. It looks to identify what went wrong with an athlete or team and what problems, faults and mistakes led to a poor performance.
The world needs more coaches. Good coaches. Passionate coaches. Committed coaches. Innovative coaches.
Coaches are the driving force of change in sport and every sport needs more great coaches.
Many nations – including the UK, Canada, South Africa, France and Australia are investing in coach education, coach development, coach mentoring, coach accreditation and coaching the coaches programs.
And – as usual – instead of inventing new, exciting, innovative, creative and more importantly effective ways of educating and developing the next generation of coaches, everyone is following trends, fads and the old tried and trusted training techniques – many of which have failed over and over again all over the world.
Here are ten really dumb things we do and call it Coach Education.
It was not all that long ago when the words “strength training” and “gymnasium” conjured up images of muscle hulks and Arnold Schwarzenegger – that is before he become the Governator!
However, in recent years, strength and conditioning has gained acceptance as an applied sports science and is respected as a profession in its own right in many high performance sporting systems around the world. It has become a fundamental and integral aspect of the training and preparation of elite athletes in a wide range of sports.
This article will cover some of the contemporary issues in strength training for high performance sport and suggest some practical applications for the practicing coach.
The basic issues: Strength training or no strength training?
It’s all the same. All over the world, in every sport, when coaches write training workouts they think in terms of the big three physiological variables only: volume, intensity and frequency (how much, how hard, how often). But what if there was another way? What if instead of writing training sessions based on the physical aspects of performance, coaches and athletes built their training sessions and programming around the mental side of performance. This article challenges coaches and athletes to look at putting physiology last when they design and deliver training sessions and to think about what might happen if they looked at things differently.
There was a time when a new head was the solution to all problems in a high performance sports team.
Team not winning – get a new head coach.
Team’s culture not right – get a new head coach.
Team’s attitude and commitment flagging – get a new head coach.
Times have changed.
A new head coach is no longer the solution in high performance sport.
Talent Identification – the way we currently do it – doesn’t work.
Here are some things that do and some ideas on how to do it better.
- Leadership is about the future;
- Management is about the present;
- Education is about the past.
So what’s this got to do with why Talent ID programs in the Western world are dismal failures?
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.