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  • Writer's pictureHugh Lawrence

Customised coaching in team or group settings

This might be an odd title. But it's a long-standing topic. How to ensure your athletes get a meaningful amount of your time in a team or group session. This is the opposite of the one-on-one or two situation, where athletes may often say, privately of course, that they probably get too much of you!!

There's a lot to say about this and I'll spread it over a few posts. The first and most important principle is that your athlete should have an expectation that you will speak to or interact with them at least once in the session. Now that does not mean you have to give quotas. Do the math, it's often not easy. But it's about the 'expectation'. If your athletes are on task then they shouldn't be looking at you. But they should be conscious that you are looking at them! Sometimes it can a just a nod, a word of encouragement, reinforcement or critique across the floor. Over time, athletes come to know whether or not you're paying attention.

So here's the first tip and a nod to the coach as a teacher. Good physical education teachers scan the whole class probably once every thirty seconds. Seem a lot? Sure is, but you get the hang of it. Good team players do it constantly to size up the situation on the field. Even when you are paying close attention to an individual or small group, position yourself so you can scan, so that your peripheral vision is working well. That way, my athletes know my radar is fully functional.

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