Ask yourself are you a complexifier or a simplifier? Heed the advice of Einstein: “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Einstein may not have been thinking about coaching but truer words have never been spoken. Simplicity yields complexity. For effective coaching that produces consistent results it is imperative to keep it simple. It is important to point out that simple does not mean it is not sophisticated.
The foundational elements of effective coaching are quite straightforward know the following:
Who – Carefully consider who you are coaching. This is not as obvious as it seems. Take into consideration the level of development, training age, and chronological age. Gender – men and women need to train differently; the differences are subtle but important.
What – The actual training methods you will use. In some ways this is easy, but it is the ability to select the correct tools from coaching toolbox for the task at hand.
How – This is the construction of the actual training session. Where will strength, speed, power development fit with technique and skill development and above all competition.
When – This is the timing of the application of the training stress and the interaction of the various stressors and subsequent time to adaptation. This is the periodization element of the process.
Where – Exactly what is the appropriate venue and location for the training. If you do not have the ideal can you improvise?
Why – This is the underpinning of the whole process. Have clear and logical reasons why you are doing what you are doing, with whom, when how and where. This will provide the context for evaluation of results and provide direction and purpose.
Don’t get hung up on whether or not it is evidence based. For the coach it must be practice based evidence. Truth is what works consistently. Simplify your coaching take a step back evaluate and then simplify some more. Remember good coaches coach a sport great coaches coach people. Where will your focus be?