The Five Stages of Coaching: Going from Beginner to the Best Coach You can Be.
The Five Stages of Coaching: Going from Beginner to the Best Coach You can Be.

There are coaching courses, coaching workshops, coaching programs, coaching presentations and coaching seminars.

There are mentoring programs for coaches, professional development programs for coaches, training programs for coaches and a million and one degrees, certificates and accreditation programs for coaches.

But what is coaching and what does it take to get really good at it?

What is great coaching?

And would you even recognise it even if you met it over a nice red wine and dinner?

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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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High Performance on a Budget – can you create a high performance environment without spending any money?
High Performance on a Budget – can you create a high performance environment without spending any money?

As soon as someone mentions the words “high-performance” in sport, people start running for their cheque books and credit cards. The most commonly held view about high-performance sport is that you need significant investment and resources to run a successful high performance sports program. However, money alone does not guarantee success in high performance sport and almost any coach or Club can create a sustainable high performance environment by targeting and prioritising their resources on the right things at the right time. This article discusses how to prioritise in high performance sport and how to target the things that matter: the things that will make a difference where it really matters….the performance of your athletes

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Sports Science MDID – the Multidisciplinary / Interdisciplinary Approach to Performance Science.
Sports Science MDID – the Multidisciplinary / Interdisciplinary Approach to Performance Science.

These are the most common arguments for why the MD/ID approach to sports science will not work: However, the single counter argument to refute all these is this: Performance is multidisciplinary and multi-factorial by nature. Performance is the balanced integration of physical, mental, technical, tactical, cultural, genetic and other factors. Nothing exists in isolation.  And therefore

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Creative Coaching: Teaching coaches to be Creative and Innovative.
Creative Coaching: Teaching coaches to be Creative and Innovative.

Quick.

Write down your own list of the top ten skills of quality coaching. What does it look like? Something like this?

  1. Communication skills;
  2. Passion;
  3. Empathy with athletes;
  4. The ability to engage with athletes and inspire athletes to fully engage with the program;
  5. Enthusiasm;
  6. Technical knowledge;
  7. An understanding of the relevant principles of sports science and sports medicine;
  8. Energy;
  9. Curiosity (which inspires a passion for learning);
  10. 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?

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Training Based Research Studies: the Biggest Con in sport since the Muffin.
Training Based Research Studies: the Biggest Con in sport since the Muffin.

Remember how when we were kids everyone liked to eat cupcakes.

Then when we got older and a bit more health conscious we were told to give them up because of the sugar and flour and other stuff in them.

Then along comes a sports nutritionist who said “Muffins are a great food for athletes – nutritious, high carbohydrate energy foods”. So we all started eating them again even though they are basically still just big cupcakes.

What a big con.

Almost as big a con as Training Studies in Sports Science Research.

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Sports Psychology: Integrating Mental Skills Training in Effective Coaching.
Sports Psychology: Integrating Mental Skills Training in Effective Coaching.

We all agree that developing mental skills is an essential part of being a successful athlete.

The ability to perform under pressure, the capacity to remain confident and resilient when competition conditions get tough, the skill to be able to relax and stay focused when feeling pain and fatigue in competition, concentration, visualization……coaches and athletes are unanimous that spending time developing mental skills is time well spent.

However, figuring out the best way to develop mental skills – particularly mental skills which can directly enhance the competition performance of athletes is another matter.

We all think working with a Sports Psychologist is a good idea but Sports Psychologists are like life partners……we know that having one is probably a good idea but it is next to impossible to find a good one.

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