Improve your Coaching by NOT Coaching

By Wayne Goldsmith |

You read right – improve your coaching by NOT coaching.

Coaching improves performance.

But too much coaching – over coaching – can have a negative influence on performance.

Who OVER coaches?

Typically five types of coaches OVER coach:

  1. Young, inexperienced coaches who are trying too hard;
  2. Coaches who lack real belief in themselves and who try to make up for it by giving too much information. These coaches will often want to be liked – and feel the more coaching they do, the more the athletes will like them;
  3. Coaches who lack belief in their athletes and feel the need to control every element of preparation and performance;
  4. Coaches who are being evaluated or assessed and aim to impress by being SEEN to control every element of the training session, i.e. they believe that great coaching is talking more;
  5. EGO driven coaches who see athletes / players as a vehicle to promote themselves and their reputations.
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Teaching Skills – A Performance Focused Approach to Teaching Skills.

What’s the difference between learning sports skills to play sport and learning sports skills to win in competition conditions?

Playing the sport is about learning and executing the skills of the sport.

Winning in competition is about executing skills to a high level of mastery, at high speed, in fatigue conditions and under pressure and consistently making the right decision about when, where and how to execute the skill.

So, why do so many coaches insist on teaching the basic skills without progressing them from playing level to performance level?

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Thinking Outside the Box in Coaching in High Performance Sport – Creativity is King!
Thinking Outside the Box in Coaching in High Performance Sport – Creativity is King!

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……. 

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Can you achieve the same or better performance results with reduced training volume? More on More with Less.
Can you achieve the same or better performance results with reduced training volume? More on More with Less.

One of the greatest challenges many traditional Olympic sports face is how to achieve the same or better results in less time. Kids and parents have very little spare time and for sports like swimming, track and field, rowing, diving, gymnastics, tennis and cycling, finding ways to optimise athletic development and enhance sports performance efficiently: i.e. achieving better performances in less time has become an increasingly important aspect of coaching around the world.

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Talent Identification in the Western World – Over funded and Over rated.
Talent Identification in the Western World – Over funded and Over rated.

 

The concept of Talent Identification – TID for short – makes sense.

Do some standardised testing and screening of lots of kids, find the ones who can run faster, run further, jump longer, stretch better than the rest and bingo- you found talent!

It all grew out of the now “mythical” talent identification systems of the old Eastern Block (and more recently China) – and the countless stories we have all heard for the past 30 years about how the centralised government systems put every child in the nation through a series of TID testing protocols and then funnelled them in to the specific sports where their talent was most likely to be developed to its full potential.

But in the western world, in spite of the hundreds of millions of dollars thrown at TID in Australia, the US, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and Western Europe, with the exception of a few minor and specialised sports – it has failed and failed badly.

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Sport Analysis and the Era of Negativity
Sport Analysis and the Era of Negativity

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.

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