Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Quality Control Coaching

Much of my time is spent teaching athletes how to train (it's part of my job right). Everything can look good on paper, but then...

-How to approach drills.
-How to finish them with the right level of effort, all the way through the finish.
-How to raise and lower their bodies at the right time.
-How and where to direct their feet.
-What the ground contacts should feel like.
-The posture their spine should be in.
-Where their eyes should be looking.
-Subtle movement tweaks that make giant differences.
-How to 'attack' weights.
-How to use serious internal fortitude to 'fight' through a difficult strength set.
-The intent needed at different parts of certain movements.
-What the athletes should be doing between sets.
-What's the necessary frame of mind to maintain speed in a conditioning exercise.
-Optimizing tension and relaxation at the correct times.
-How to "listen" to their bodies and what feedback to look for, and what action if any is necessary.
-If and when an athlete needs to feel their body and when they don't.
-Discussing options for putting together a personal schedule that is condusive to recovering.
-Strategies for how to ready themselves for a good night's sleep.
-Developing nutrition knowledge.
-Educating on the pitfalls that can sap an athlete's energy.

To sum this, what is only a short list, up; teaching athletes how to train and recover.

And for me to foster these things...

-Develop relationships.
-Educating the "why" of all that we do.
-Living out the values taught to the athletes.
-Making sure my feedback is given at the right time and in the right tone, or knowing when to just keep my mouth shut.
-De-emphasizing certain things; "don't sweat it".
-'Opening' my ears up to be able to listen.
-When to submit to requests and when to hold ground.
-Understanding when it's time to scrap what's on paper and when I should 'follow through'.
-Feeling, more than knowing, when and what to say.
-Knowing when to make eye contact or when I should look away.
-Discerning when to allow certain mistakes and patiently let the athlete figure things out.
-Who needs a little 'lashing' and who needs an 'arm around the shoulder', or a combination of the two.
-Managing my attention on a large group; who do I focus on more, who less, or is it equal.
-Understanding when I have done my job and it's time to turn the athlete loose...

The challenges and teaching are endless; and with all this being said, teach the bare minimum necessary to optimize performance.


1 comment:

jleeger said...

This is another great post, Aaron!