Teaching is Enabling the Learner


What if ego is tossed aside and coaching was just about outcomes? My previous post was a focus on understanding that cueing is a part of coaching, not the root of it. With debates that I just walked away from recently, many coaches have emailed me asking what is driving such hype and marketing? Most of best coaches I have seen have a wonderful balance of what to say and when to pause. Feedback is nice, but too much noise is interfering with the signal. Hours after my post, a tweet from Movement Dynamics explained a good task is worth ten cues and I couldn’t agree more with Steve Myrland. Steve was one of the first to talk about gurus polluting coaching and we need more people like Steve equipping us with good sayings to balance out the myth.

Teaching is mentoring, not just instructing. Enabling the learner is risky, as you want the athlete to be loyal and obedient but without freedom of thought, expression suffers and evolution halts. Coaching isn’t just about knowing what to say or even what to do, it’s about honesty. Character trumps knowledge because without real relationships the house of cue cards crumbles. Just because one says abracadabra and an athlete is able to do hurdle hops over 42 inch barriers, doesn’t mean the magic came from the coach. I am nothing more than the tour guide, I may know the land a bit more than the tourist (athlete), but their job is to get the most out of the environment. You can’t get this type of education from seminars, books or DVDs, I think one needs to do an year long experience and yes that may mean interning for peanuts with a great coach. Experience of hands on work is the only way to get it, including this own limited blog post.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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