Become The Best Coach You Can Be
By Wil Fleming
There are a lot of great coaches in the world, and this newsletter reaches plenty of them. To become an even better coach evaluation is really important.
I think that coaching breaks down into four categories and seeing where you are an expert or could need some work is a helpful tool to become a better a coach.
- Anatomy and Kinesiology
This category is first as it is likely the first thing we learned in school that actually pertained to our development as coaches. For coaches that changed careers or don’t have a classic background in this area, this is typically the weakest. Coaches that are strong in this area, can do wonders in assessment, analyzing movements, and innovating new ideas.
This is by far my weakest area and something that I strive to get better in everyday. Brushing up on anatomy, kinesiology, and biomechanics through reading is my primary way to get better in this area.
- Program design
Designing great programs can really make your athletes better. Putting the wrong exercises in the program can make your athletes unprepared for their competitions, or even get them injured. Incorrect rep schemes and volume can leave your athletes under or over trained. The right program can give each athlete a chance at giving their best effort when it counts.
I think that I am fairly strong in this area, but could definitely use improvement. The easiest way to improve in this area is to observe and interact with coaches that are preparing athletes on a daily basis and glean what you can from their programming secrets.
- Practical Coaching
Practical coaching is what I have named the actual coaching on the floor. Seeing movements and cleaning them up to get the best patterns possible. Being a problem solver on the floor coaching the technique at every step.
In my perspective, this is where I am strongest. I am able to identify issues in movements and make the modifications on the floor or to the technique that are necessary. Again watching good coaches in action is a great way to improve in this area, as is completing the movements yourself. Working through your own technical problems is a great way to get a feel for what you need to coach.
Impact is all of the non-programming stuff. Are you making the environment fun? Are you setting the athletes up for life-long success by associating positive emotions with training?
Also one of my strong suits, but probably the area in which I worry about the most. I want to make sure that the athletes love the experience and are excited to train. To improve in this area there are no secrets, it is always making sure that your energy is higher than the athletes’ energy and focusing on bringing them up with you through their training session.
Don’t be afraid to evaluate, and don’t be afraid to focus in on your weak points. You as a coach and your athletes will get better because of it.