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At an elite level you often hear coaches talking about how observing or watching athletes or coaches working in another sport influenced the way in which they practice in their own sport. This could be the methods they use to deliver sessions, how they go about managing individual athletes, groups or a team, the methods they adopt to teach technique and the technique development itself or how they evolve new tactics. There are even examples of where coaches have encouraged their athletes sometimes as part of their training programme to play another sport. Transferable skills are evident to see across many sports such as in Tennis especially on clay where a squash grip is often used to play an overstretched forehand or in Futsal how 1v1 defending can be improved through watching the activity of individual defenders in basketball specifically around how active they are in defence.
I would be keen to find out from coaches what sports and specifically the elements/transferable skills from those sports that have influenced their coaching the most?
I think it's really important that with talented young athletes we coaches ensure they are still involving themselves in other activities, AT LEAST until 18 with most sports. Not only does this help with skill aquisition, but it also takes some pressure off in terms of focusing on just one sport mentally too. Obviously injury prevention is important, but isn't it always...whatsmore it will help prevent burnout which is at least as serious as injury.
The idea that not focusing on one sport too early will mean the athlete hasn't had enough training hours is also disproven in research i've been reading...
I have an article on this coming out soon via Coannected Coaches actually so stay tuned!
Outdoor recreation activities as a teenager have shaped my coaching style. Very much 'here's a problem how are you going to solve it?' It was everything from canoeing, open water swimming, bushwalking ( I grew up in Oz), climbing, abseiling, orienteering. Problem solving and team work skills transferred across. Also the ability to watch what others do and learn from them.
From a coaching perspective, at a very basic level, being able to watch and potentially take part in sessions delivered by coaches in a sport that is not your own can develop an understanding of pressures and demands that this different sport poses. This is in turn, in my experiance is a priceless tool in getting my coaching and session design cogs flowing.Your comment is around the transferable skills for the athlete, but I challenge you to look at it from your development perspective also.....
Let me give an example, the problem: Female rugby players with very little knowledge '7s' form of the game needing to learning the basic attacking/defensive principles in a short space of time. My time as a football coach, and session desiign in football lead me to come up with an Aussie rules type practice (un structured - man on man defense - potential of huge gaps/space to attack - decision making under increased pressure). A football was used, they could kick, run, pass (in any direction initially) and it worked to demonstrate, in a game based practice the different challenges in 7s compared to the 15-a-side game. I then tapered the practice to look more like rugby, restricting passing to backwards only, using a rugby ball etc. Overall by having a further knowledge as a coach (in different sports) I was able to design a session that may not at first be an obvious choice.
Going back to your point, I guess I have gone some way to show the potential cross overs between rugby and football and vice versa. I will think further into this and try to come to some specific examples...!
Sorry for going on!
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