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Posted in: Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Coach the person? What does that mean?

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  • Ralph

    “If coaching qualifications were the 'end product', I could see a place for non-sport specific coaching pathways - generic coaching standards/training concepts/philosophies. What is currently missing from every coaching course I have ever attended, is the 'people skills' essential for every coach regardless of the level they are coaching at. This is a tragic oversight.” Lawrie O'Keeffe

     Everything I’ve ever posted (about 2 per week) on CC is based upon this genius statement by Lawrie.

     We focus so much on the athlete; we don’t get our own house in order. We can’t get a decent political system going in this country, yet are happy to criticize Brussels. In 35years of coaching and it’s 2016, and UK coaches are now asked about coach development?

     We expect our athletes to be totally dedicated above all else, to have complete control of their social and emotional intelligence and yet coaches get zero help about those things.


    For example…

    Do you think it’s obvious, if you are coaching an athlete you are coaching a person?

    Or do you think, sport is not personal, it’s professional, remove the human element and therefore remove potential human emotional errors to get the job done?

    Or does the quest to improve our understanding of our emotional state add colour and meaning to our existence, without emotions our existence is meaningless?

    Or are acknowledging feelings considered a sign of weakness?

    Do you think Sport is not about emotions and thinking, there are too many variables and inconsistences to allow emotions and thinking, it’s best to stop both to free up the athlete to just do? There is no try, it’s do or don’t do?

    Or is it possible, if you are results based or performance based, or technique based or tactics based coach, you are ignoring the human in front of you?

    Does the above list by definition, mean you are treating the athlete as a machine to be fixed and therefore everyone comes to you broken?

    Or do you believe your athlete comes to you “clean” with no preconceived ideas and self limiting beliefs, a blank slate to be coached?

    Do you believe the athlete is ignorant and needs you as a coach to be the font of all knowledge?

    If you’ve never asked yourself those human questions, are you admitting the athlete in front of you is just a product to be manufactured by learning?

    Do you think the questions are irrelevant or annoying but do you have and always had a clear reason why?

  • oranjesoccerschoolindia

    Really a fantastic topic..Quality of an individual is very important in coaching

  • Ralph

    why do you see it as important?

  • I think this is a great topic and one that will be interpretted in various ways by different coaches. 

    I think it is all too easy to forget that you are coaching a person when in teaching mode .... often in my case little children. I know coaches who when the kid shows an affinity for the sport, improvement and competition places are the main goal and often personal development of that child is easily lost along the way.

    I certainly don't believe that coaches are the "font of all knowledge" ... everyday is an opportunity to learn something new and that something may come from the athlete in front of you. And depending on their age, the athlete has their own thoughts and ideas which must be considered for a functioning working relationship.

    Yes coaches transfer knowledge, but it is also important to consider whether that knowledge is up to date and relevant, especially as guidelines etc can change so quickly.

    From a personal perspective, having a well rounded, balanced individual is key and therefore realising that they are a person and not a machine is vital in producing happy, productive athletes. And lets be honest .... not every participant in sport is going to make that elusive elite level - but if they enjoy their time then the probability of building and continuing those healthy sporting habits which continue throughout their life and when their kids arrive is high. That's not to say I'm laid back in my teaching approach, they are reprimanded if effort levels drop, but not to the point where it has a negative affect on their confidence or sporting interest. Yes, they are there to learn and parents pay a lot of money for them to do so, but recognising that they too have bad days and have an opinion and inviting them in to the learning process has always been a part of my coaching philosophy.

  • Ralph
    On 19/07/16 9:25 PM, Dannielle Starkie said:

    personal development of that child is easily lost along the way.

    why do you think this is so?

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