Sports coaches all over the world have been devoted to the mindless repetition model of skills learning and mastery for the past 50 years. However, there is a huge difference between being able to perform sports skills well in training and being able to consistently perform sports skills under competition conditions, e.g. under fatigue, at high speed and under pressure. This article aims to challenge the old “practice makes perfect” coaching philosophy and replace it with a more competition focused approach of “Performance Practice”.
Sometimes you win. Occasionally you win easily. But most of the time you win when it’s difficult, challenging and when things go wrong…winning ugly.
Sometimes you win.
Very rarely do you win easily when everything goes the way you planned it to go in training.
Sometimes winning is about winning ugly.
So what is winning ugly?
How may times do you actually go out on the field with all of your best players 100% fit and healthy and in the best form of their lives?
c. All the time
If you answered d. Never – give yourself a round of applause.
The aim of the game is to win. In a perfect world the “football-fairy” appears and magically transforms your team into a perfect performance powerhouse that seemingly wins with ease.
In the real world, there is no “football-fairy” and you’ve got to win when you’re tired, when you’re fatigued, when you’re not feeling great – you gotta find ways of winning ugly.
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.
Creativity – along with the capacity to inspire change through emotional connection is the most powerful tool a coach can possess. All coaches can learn to be creative – it’s not something you have to born with. You can learn to be creative – and by thinking, saying and doing things that are unique – that are different and by daring to be different you can achieve coaching success.
The World of Coaching Information is in your hands…what are you doing with it? Coaching Greatness. Most coaches I meet all over the world will ask me about Coaching Greatness – i.e. how can they improve their coaching and become the best coach they can be. Let’s start by considering how not to improve your
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).
Sports science has made and can continue to make a huge impact on sports performance. However, most sports scientists do not communicate their knowledge, research, ideas and information very well. As a result, many coaches will listen to and work with sports scientists who have made the effort to understand the coaching “world” and to sports science professionals who listen to, respect and engage with them as equals – as professionals trying to make a difference.
Motivation Mistakes. I often get asked to do motivation talks to athletes, coaches, teams and organisations all over the world. I am happy to accept the professional fees but….to be honest: Motivation Talks Do Not Work. Motivation is the fire that burns inside the hearts and minds of people: people who dream of being more
Coaching Philosophy. Why Do You Coach? By Wayne Goldsmith If you’re already an experienced coach, how would you go about starting your coaching career all over again? Knowing what you know now – how would you start again – and build a sustainably successful coaching career? Or maybe you’re just starting out on your
The Coaching Team.
Gone are the days of the “GURU” coaches.
Sure, the great names of coaching have all been “one man bands” – strong, decisive, authoritarian, leadership focused head coaches who controlled every aspect of the team’s performance.
However, elite sport has developed at an incredible rate over the past twenty years and the knowledge and skills required to win an elite sporting competition are greater than any one person can bring to the table.
Think of the advances in sports science, sports medicine, analysis, IT, nutrition, psychology and technology since the 1980s.
How can we expect that any one person can be THE expert in all performance areas plus coach the team, deal with the media, work with Club Board and Executive, recruit new players, talk to sponsors, meet the fans etc etc etc?
So – the Coaching Team and Performance Team concepts are born.
Mental toughness is something everyone talks about in sport. But what is it? Mental toughness is the capacity of an athlete to do their job – i.e. to do the things they’ve trained to do – no matter what happens to them or what’s happening around them. Once you understand what mental toughness is – the good news is – you can coach it.