A while ago I commented on a blog post which discussed 10 things that lead to coaching failure. The same author has a related post looking at the habits successful coaches develop. They are loosely based on the ideas put forth in the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (which is definitely worth a read).
They are as follows (paraphrased):
- Make training harder than competition
- Learn and develop at a faster rate than your athletes
- Make your rate of learning faster than your opposition
- Develop your creative thinking abilities
- Coach the individual
- Ensure that each player out-prepares their opposition
- Develop training plans which optimize impact on each player
- Make training as game-like as possible
- Adopt an integrated approach to talent development
The first entry is something I have long lived by, and I think #8 has been pretty well covered. Notice the heavy focus on individual athletes. Also see how many relate to continuous learning.
I think #4 deserves a little extra attention.
You may not think of it this way, but coaching is a creative endeavor. At least it is when done well. I’m not talking about whether coaching is an art or a science, or some combination. It’s much more simple than that.
Coaching is about identifying a need and figuring out to meet it. That almost always involves trying to work around limitations or constraints. It’s creative problem solving. An example of this is dynamic practice planning.
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