The Gist: Coaching is a relational process through which coaches and athletes learn from one another and develop together. Coaching does not simply constitute actions that coaches do to athletes for desired outcomes. When we understand coaching in this way, coaches can better ensure that our actions best fit our athletes and context. In doing … Continue reading Coach as Teacher, Teacher as Learner: Rethinking the Coaching Process
The GIST: Effective communication is based on the needs of each player and team. When coaches give players voice, we can more fully understand what our athletes need to feel optimally supported. With preseason approaching, consider integrating this session into your off-the-field training. These activities can serve as a starting point for coaches and athletes to … Continue reading Effective Communication: A preseason session to start the conversation
The Gist: Coaches and players build and shape team culture. When coaches co-create team values and tactics with players they give them ownership in the culture-building process. This player-driven approach supports coherence and youth development. More than any single team-building activity, we need to give athletes agency to be culture creators (and leaders) in their everyday … Continue reading Player-Driven Practices for Culture Creation
The Gist: The purpose of reflective practice is to improve our coaching and the context in which athletes practice and perform. Coaches can move beyond evaluation of the x’s and o’s by using reflection (in-action, on-action, and retrospectively) to identify program values and link their aims to actions to build a coherent culture. Whether … Continue reading Coach Reflective Practice: What, So What, Now What?
If you’ve been itching for a blog post in the last two months, Both-And Coaching is back to scratch it! Apologies for the mini hiatus. I started coaching with a team this spring and that commitment has taken a big bite out of blog writing time. It’s energizing to be on the pitch again working … Continue reading Reflective Practice for Culture Creation: What, So What, Now What?
The GIST: The Nassar case is a jarring reminder of a darker side of sport: a space in which sexual violence against girls and women can go unchecked—not just through perverted actions of one man, but through institutional inaction and social norms that enable such oppression in the first place. Over a month ago, doctor … Continue reading A Darker Side of Sport: Sexual Violence against Girls and Women in Sport From “Locker Room” Talk to Larry Nassar
THE GIST: Supportive relationships and environments are seldom glamorized on the professional sport stage, but they are necessary for kids to grow the physical and motivational capacities that we revere in elite athletes. Just as we guide kids through the technical fundamentals of our sport, coaches need to give them practice in how to interpret … Continue reading Everyone Wins or Winner Takes All?: Optimal Spaces for Training Athletes to Thrive in Adverse Circumstances
Adult leaders can only ensure that competition is appropriate and empowering for youth when we understand kids’ unique needs and perspective. Research points to 7 to 12 years of age as a critical developmental period in a young person's competitive readiness process. During this time, most youth experience significant developmental changes including physical, cognitive, and … Continue reading Everyone Wins or Winner Takes All?: A Developmental Perspective
Whether competition is developmentally appropriate for youth has sparked debate given the intense, exclusive win-at-all-cost culture in which we live. Those who support competition in youth suggest that competitive experiences are essential for kids to learn life lessons, and gain “competitive kid capital”. Through competition, kids learn to internalize the importance of winning, bounce back … Continue reading Everyone Wins or Winner Takes All?: Clarifying The Youth Competitive Readiness Debate
It’s happened on several occasion: in the days leading up to the time I’ve set aside to blog, I’ll come across a podcast or article on the topic I’m working through. Chalk it up to coincidence or cognitive priming, but I prefer to think of the sequence of events as a gentle nudge from the … Continue reading Coaching like a Gardener: A “Nudge” toward Nonlinear Pedagogy