Dan Mickle, who I had on a Coaching Conversation about mental training, posted a couple of tables from a study out of Norway on social media. It’s a report which looks at a lot of different aspects of the coaching experience from across a wide array of sports. I encourage you to give it a look as there are some interesting findings from multiple perspectives.

I want to focus specifically in this post, though, on the stuff Dan shared. Here’s the first table he shared.

Overall, these category ranks don’t surprise me. The stuff at the bottom tends to be more of the business of sport rather than coaching. Lots of coaches don’t really involve themselves in that stuff. If you were to survey US college coaches, however, you might see some different results, since their duties are much broader.

This second table shifts the focus to where coaches believe they learn most.

I admit to some surprise that player feedback is top of the list. I’d be really interested to see if that remained the case in a place like the US. I say that because here so much of the coaching focus is on youth and young adults (college athletes). Our adult sports systems isn’t as well structured as in other parts of the world, outside the professional ranks. This means coaches are on much less of a peer level with their athletes.

Putting that consideration aside, I wonder how much explicit work these coaches put into receiving player feedback. If it’s that important to you, it makes sense that you’d put a priority on getting it. My suspicion, though, is the vast majority don’t have any kind of formal mechanism in place.

Let me know what you think about how these developmental focus points rank.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

    2 replies to "Coaching development focal points"

    • Mickulz

      Thanks for the shout out! I had the same thoughts you did when I first looked at this study. I am not sure how long until I start my actual research process for my thesis, but I will make sure you get a chart of my results from the US.

      To be fair, my main focus is more on the first chart (going a little deeper in the soft skills), but the second chart does having me thinking a bit more about methodology.

      I will try to keep you updated!


      • John Forman

        Would definitely like to see that Dan.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.