Loading ...

Developing Communication | Welcome and General

ConnectedCoaches uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to the use of the cookies. For more details about cookies how we manage them and how you can delete them see the 'Use of cookies' part of our privacy policy. Click the cross to close this cookie notice. X

ad
Home » Groups » Welcome and General » Forum » General » Developing Communication
Welcome and General

Leave group:

Are you sure you want to leave this space?

Join this group:

Join this space?

Add a new tab

Add a hyperlink to the space navigation. You can link to internal or external web pages. Enter the Tab name and Tab URL. Upload or choose an icon. Then click Save.

The name that will appear in the space navigation.
The url can point to an internal or external web page.
Login to follow, share, and participate in this group.
Not a member?Join now
Posted in: General

Developing Communication

Subscribe to RSS
  • MatteJHart

    I do a fair amount of mentoring and one thing I am happy to see pushed more these days with new coaches is the importance of questioning. This is something I feel like was missed when I was in my early days developing as a coach. When reviewing the communication skills of the coaches in the club that I run, I notice that my more experienced coaches appear less comfortable with engaging in open questions with their gymnasts. It is not a skill they have developed along their way.

    I am addressing this (and more) with an in-house workshop next week. I think communication with participants is key to get right, particularly how to tailor your language, tone and overall delivery according to the age and maturation of the participant. Questioning is such a powerful tool in a coach's toolkit and I hope my more established coaches will start to fall in love with it once we've taken some time to specifically look at it.

    Does anyone else mentor other coaches? Have you any thoughts or observations on communication skills in developing coaches? 

  • Hi Matte, I think the newer coach education courses greatly improve and positively advocate the need for questioning ['open not closed'] far more, and far better, than years ago - getting the performer's response, by them working things out for themselves [even if you have to ask a few supplementary questions to draw out the complete answer!] is far better than the 'I'm the coach, I know it, so I'll tell you and I can then show you how much I know' many coaches of yesteryear seemed intent on doing - it doesn't mean the coach doesn't know the answer, but they [the coach] want the performer to work it out for themselves, which they'll have to do in the 'heat of competition' anyway!!

  • smilner

    Hi Matte, I am currently working on a workshop to help develop a tutor's communication skills - one of the focusses is having them think about the impact of the language they use and how appropriate it is to their learners. The responses from the tutors has been really interesting. To be honest I assumed that tutors were 'masters' of communication but the activities have really helped them reflect on the words they use and what impact it has on the personal they are communicating with.

    Interestingly I found the same response from the more experienced tutors as they seemed uncomfortable reflecting on their communication skills.

    Effective questionning became a focus of one session I ran and am looking to see how I can include something in the session so if you have any tips from your in-house workshop it would be great to hear them.

  • MatteJHart

    Hi Sarah. That sounds really interesting. I'll have a think about he conversations that have come up when I have a bit of time. We actually have a communication in-house workshop next weekend. It's focused on coaches communicating with participants but still, it might prompt something. 

  • MatteJHart

    I agree. I'm finding it an unexpected project to work on developing questioning with my more experienced coaches.

  • pippaglen

    Hi Matte

    I was one of the first groups to start the new athletics coaches programme a few years ago.  I must admit it's a fantastic course and compared to other levels I've done it's far more indepth in information.  

    I was always taught to ask questions,  this helps to Find out athletes understanding of the sessions,  you as a coach will also see if you have explained your session in a way athletes and pupils understand. Children and athletes learn at different speeds and different ways, I'm a visual learner this way I learn very quickly,  if you put me in a classroom with paperwork it would take me alot longer to understand things.  

    I was asked a few months ago by a staff member why do you ask pupils questions,  my answer was to see how much information pupils have taken in and if they understand what they are doing.  I was told to stop doing it.  I'm sorry but I'm not going to stop asking questions just because another coach doesn't agree.  I still ask pupils for understanding πŸ˜πŸ˜€

  • MatteJHart

     I can't believe you were told to stop asking them questions! Did they give a reason why? 

  • saranicolehilton

    That's a really interesting point Sarah. I am a coach mentor within my football performance centre and a level one coach Educator. In terms of language and terminology, I try to a establish a very basic 'dictionary' within my performance centre. I feel that consistency is vital in terms of gradual development for the players. If each coach uses the same word to describe the same technical point, the understanding of the player will be (hopefully) more efficient. It also provides the coaches with the verbal tools to coach without impacting on their individual coaching styles. Furthermore, at times helping them with what to say but not necessarily telling them how to say it. No one wants to produce robots. 

  • smilner
    On 26/06/15 8:17 PM, Sara Hilton said:

    That's a really interesting point Sarah. I am a coach mentor within my football performance centre and a level one coach Educator. In terms of language and terminology, I try to a establish a very basic 'dictionary' within my performance centre. I feel that consistency is vital in terms of gradual development for the players. If each coach uses the same word to describe the same technical point, the understanding of the player will be (hopefully) more efficient. It also provides the coaches with the verbal tools to coach without impacting on their individual coaching styles. Furthermore, at times helping them with what to say but not necessarily telling them how to say it. No one wants to produce robots. 

    Hi Sara

    Your approach to creating a 'dictionary' sounds really interesting. Would you be willing to share your approach through a blog that I could publish out to our coaching network? I am always on the look out for different approaches which can help develop coaches further.

    The blog only needs to be 3 or 4 paragraphs of really informal writing. Would you be up for this?

    Thanks

    Sarah

  • SarahBennett

    Hi Sarah,

    Communication is absolutely vital in the sport I am involved, golf. It is one of the most mentally demanding games at any level where the use of different words can change the technical meaning for the learner. An example here is " straight" left arm for me evokes tension which can then produce other technical issues within the backswing. I will often use the word "soft" which produces a completely different thought. Golf is also very technically demanding many different beliefs and methods so the communication element is even more vital questioning the client prior to the session, during to find out both their background in terms of knowledge and level of understanding where the most appropriate words or visuals can be used for the individual. When coaching new players the last message I want my client to leave with is a jigsaw puzzle golf swing, trying to fix the pieces together! 

  • andrewb62
    On 25/06/15 11:10, Adam Park-Elliott said:

    the newer coach education courses greatly improve and positively advocate the need for questioning ['open not closed'] far more, and far better, than years ago

    I took my level 1 cricket coaching in 2009 (not sure if this is "years ago" in terms of coach training history - probably not), and we spent a lot of time on "how to coach" and specifically on questioning.

    In fact, the use of questioning was so closely integrated with the coaching process that it had its own acronym in the course materials - CFU, for "check for understanding".

    At almost every stage of a coaching session, we were told - CFU. 

    • Introduce the theme for the day, and make any necessary health & safety announcements - CFU.
    • Describe or demonstrate the first drill of the session - CFU (repeatedly, until you know for certain that the ball will be hit in the right direction!).
    • Review outcomes - first get the players to tell you what they did, then CFU.

    I do remember thinking at the time that the tutors' emphasis on CFU seemed a bit heavy-handed (they put into practice exactly what they were preaching) but it stuck with me.   

  • andrewb62
    On 26/06/15 20:17, Sara Hilton said:

    I try to a establish a very basic 'dictionary' within my performance centre. I feel that consistency is vital in terms of gradual development for the players. If each coach uses the same word to describe the same technical point, the understanding of the player will be (hopefully) more efficient

    I do agree with what you are trying to achieve, Sara, but is there a risk that by simplifying language you lose the richness of expression (and understanding)?

    A word that perfectly encapsulates a concept for the coach might be understood subtly differently by the player.

    When the coach says "fast" she might mean "promptly, without delay"; the player might hear "Usain Bolt, fast as I possibly can" (and thus lose control, and the ball).

    Linguistic re-programming ("this is what the coaches mean when they say 'fast' - precisely this, and nothing else") must be difficult, if you only see your players for a few hours each week.

    Personally, I try to rely more on CFU (checking for understanding) - I explain something, then have a couple of the players relay back to me what they have understood.  If they use different words to describe the same outcome, and don't just repeat the words I used, even better, as it shows that they have listened, paid attention, and internalised the message, not just heard what I have told them.

  • andrewb62
    On 01/07/15 06:17, Sarah Bennett said:

    " straight" left arm for me evokes tension which can then produce other technical issues

    We have the same issue in cricket, both striking the ball (at the point of contact, the arms will probably be straight, or on the point of straightening) and in bowling the arm should be straight* at the moment of release.

    But these are both just instants of "straightness" during a fluid sequence of movements.  It is a longer "instant" in the bowling action, but bowlers with an exaggeratedly long straight-arm swing (Mitchell Johnson of Australia comes to mind) sometimes do suffer with poor control, which looks to be related to tension in the bowling arm and shoulder.

    * this is actually not true - the Laws of Cricket prohibit straightening the arm during the delivery swing; it is therefore legal to bowl with an arm that is not straight at the moment of release so long as the arm starts to swing bent and remains bent to the same degree throughout the swing...try explaining that!

  • andrewb62
    On 25/06/15 18:04, Matte Hart said:

     I can't believe you were told to stop asking them questions! Did they give a reason why? 

    Perhaps there you have a definition of the difference between teaching and coaching?

    [grossly simplified, and with apologies to all the good teachers out there]

    Teachers impart knowledge and deliver facts.

    Coaches explore possibilities, and seek to draw out performance from the players.

Page 1 of 1 (14 items)