The art of persuasion is a useful tool that all coaches should understand. Social psychologists identify two basic ways to persuade people: through what's called "the central route" and through what's called "the peripheral route". This article examines both, in the quest to help coaches understand the art of persuasion and the best approaches to motivating their players to perform.
Leadership, a word comprising many characteristics and traits, is likely one of the broadest words in the English language. People have been studying the concept of leadership for some time and it would be hard to come up with a definitive definition of what leadership truly is. What the word means to each individual may differ and include varying aspects of teamwork, culture, management, communication, motivation, guidance, authority, control, etc. Recently I have been thinking about leadership characteristics more and more in my everyday life, constantly reflecting as to how I can be better within my professional role as a Technical Leader of a soccer club. In my reflections, I have come to the realization that just about everything, every aspect of being a good leader, centers around inspiring others to have fun. Simultaneously, I think this has likely been under-appreciated in the research and literature surrounding the concept of leadership, in favour of other buzzwords like "guidance", "influence" and "power" that are also too broad. Here is why fun is so important to leadership, and likely an underrated aspect when considering what makes someone a "good leader."
The art of carrying out the perfect demonstration is an underrated skill, often neglected by coaches in the quest to get the activity going as quickly as possible. What coaches often don't realize is that by not demonstrating, and by not demonstrating properly, they are wasting time as players are thrust into an activity without having a clue as to what they are supposed to do. The demonstration is probably the most critical component to any activity or game in a practice session, yet many forget about the necessity of the demonstration or neglect to realize a) how important it is to raising understanding and painting the picture for the players and b) how many crucial steps there are to an effective demonstration. As a result, in this article, I will break down every element to a perfect demonstration in helping coaches better paint pictures for their players.
In Canada, there has recently been a move toward the terms "old school" and "new school" to describe a shift in coaching behaviours. The terms have developed as a result of the abandonment of "old school" methods like yelling at kids, focusing on a select few talented players rather than all, and punishments like push-ups, laps or "benching" players. But still, everywhere I go, I still see coaches looking for ways to punish their players. And so today, I write this piece, with the bold statement that you should never punish your players. I am usually one to avoid saying the word "never", especially in respect to coaching. I may want to tell coaches that I mentor and develop to never do elimination games or to never limit a player's number of touches. But there may be a time and a place where it could be beneficial or logical. But when it comes to punishments, unless someone has something really compelling to say and wants to try to convince me otherwise, I believe you should never punish your players. Here are three reasons why!
Over the past couple of weeks, much of youth sports around the world have been postponed due to COVID-19 and the ongoing spread of the virus. For both coaches and athletes this presents a unique challenge, as self-isolation and social distancing makes practicing a team sport particularly difficult. That said, it's not as though nothing can be done in this time of self-isolation or as though players must spend all day on their phones. Here are some ways to keep your players engaged during this time.
Recently I had the privilege of helping teach a coaching course at my university institution to eighty students, most of which had never coached before. Not only was it (hopefully) a valuable learning experience for the students, it was also a great learning experience for me and my development as a coach. Across the course, the students adapted well to the teaching methods of the course. However, a few common mistakes could be found in nearly every single session that the students delivered. As a result, I have developed this list of the most common mistakes coaches (not just beginners) often make. This list should be a helpful reminder to all coaches on how to be better in their roles and ensure participants get the most out of their experience.
This winter, I had the privilege of helping to teach a coaching course at my university institution. The experience was absolutely amazing and better than I could have ever hoped for before beginning the course. Here are five things I learned from the teaching experience.