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Coaching people with hearing impairments | Inclusive Coaching | ConnectedCoaches

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Coaching people with hearing impairments

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Tips on coaching people with hearing impairments taken from Coaching Edge Spring 2012: Golden Shot

  • Ask the person you are speaking to if you are communicating clearly and if there are ways you can improve.
  • Encourage deaf players to tell their teammates of their communication difficulties.
  • Ensure you have the full attention of all the players before speaking.
  • Ensure you are speaking in a well-lit, quiet area, and that the participants can see your face.
  • Try to stay in one place, maintaining eye contact when talking rather than walking about.
  • Relax and speak clearly.
  • Do not shout or raise your voice.
  • Give out brief and simple instructions.
  • Do not eat or chew gum while speaking or block your face with your hand.
  • Try to use as little jargon as possible and make one point at a time.
  • If a new person is going to speak, they should raise their hand first to signify they will now be talking: This allows the person time to turn and face the new speaker. Always speak one at a time.
  • If possible, always use demonstrations. Try not to talk and demonstrate at the same time!
  • Use pre-agreed visual signals for different actions during a session.
  • Combine clapping with a double hand wave to congratulate or praise.
  • Be patient and persevere.
  • Write things down if really stuck; take a notebook with you to training.
  • When arranging future sessions hand out a slip of paper to all the members with the details on it.
  • Learn to fingerspell or learn British Sign Language.

Next Steps

sports coach UK has produced a series of impairment-specific factsheets. These

are available to view at:


For further information on this subject area, visit: www.ukdeafsport.org.uk

Also, the Me2 project will provide you with coaching opportunities for working with deaf children. Visit: www.ndcs.orguk/whats_on/me2/index.html

Check out YouTube for clips of sign language for sport – but try to avoid the American videos as their signs are different!

Don't forget if you have any tips of your own share them with your fellow coaches by leaving a comment.

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