Starting practice with a long lecture is a surefire way to ruin the training session. Coaches are good at talking and love to talk, but the start of practice is not the time and place. Recognize that the athletes are there to train, not to listen to a lecture. My rule of thumb is three minutes of talking that consists of very specific instructions pertaining to the training session. We know how long we can hold someone’s attention – not long – so use that knowledge. Make it short, sharp filled with action words that are directed to the desired actions during the training session. It should be information rich and positive. If you don’t know what to say then don’t say anything. Think of it this way: Know your point, make your point, stay on point and summarize with a clear call to action based on the points of emphasis. Coaches like to talk, that does mean you should. Some of the best advice I got early in my career was to remember that we have two eyes, two ears and one mouth for a reason. Watch and listen more and talk less.