Thursday, April 25, 2013

Quality Control Coaching (2)

This is the second talk I gave at the Sanford Power Strength and Conditioning Clinic. A special thanks to their (Sanford Power) director Randy Martin for inviting me to give 2 presentations and a practical session.

I really enjoyed giving both of my presentations, but this one below was my favorite because I feel the pedagogy side of coaching is where training is made, or broken. I also see coaching pedagogy as severely lacking in the athletic development profession (in my opinion, and at least here in the U.S.), so I felt I would give my my take on it.

I have a teaching degree in physical education (I've blogged about some of my background in it before) and I recommend for any aspiring coach to get a degree in physical education; especially from a reputable program that puts students through the rigor as far as requiring the lesson planning, but specifically having to actually teach elementary, middle, and high school students, along with the final semester of 'student teaching'. In my undergrad program, we spent a few semesters teaching at local schools, and were graded by not only our instructor, but our peers... along with being filmed for us to review. At least at the time, I thought it was pretty demanding, but am so thankful to have been challenged to teach to a high level.

It's my opinion that the exercise physiology and mechanics is the easy part, and it's the attempt to communicate the methods and truly teach that is the ultimate difference maker. Having been in coaching for a few years now, I continually see the need for a teacher education background, because regardless of how much you know about what you are trying to do, it only matters if it is learned by the athletes.

The second half of the talk below is about being fully present when coaching - paying attention to the smallest of details; things that the athletes or no other person would likely see. From getting to know your athletes to them getting to know you, and the ability to decipher subtleties like that of a very in-tune mother and her awareness of her own child. As you will see, I also put a high premium on the warm-up and have the opinion that a quality and accurate warm-up is the best path to post-workout and inter-workout recovery (something to think about), and some of the different things I watch for throughout the warm-up component. Along with that, I also touched on how I try to instill an increased self-awareness in to the athletes; something I think is paramount of all that I do.

I finished up with how I try to evaluate myself, and how I approach each training session - just as I am trying to get athletes to improve their abilities and skills, so am I.

The following old blog posts do explain some of the concepts in the slides:
Physical Education 101
Quality Control Coaching
Warming up

I understand without audio it is hard to convey the entire message, so as with the other presentation slides please post any questions in the comments below.



Josh Leeger said...

Need the audio!

Building Better Athletes said...

Like Josh said, Audio would be great, but from the looks of it, it seems great as usual!

Could you expand Motor Learning,

whole>part>whole - start with the whole movement, then break it down, and then bring it back together?

Blocked< Random - Randomness or reacting ingrains motor learning better/more permanetly?

Aaron Schwenzfeier said...

As for motor learning, yes. For much of the stuff we do, the athlete has done the whole before (save for Olympic lifts and a few jumps) so we can break down a few parts.

Research supports utilizing random practice, but sometimes I like to use blocks to 'hammer' out some Olympic lifting.

The thing I try to do is make connections with seemingly disparate skills, to get athletes thinking principally.