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Teacher coach: the secret sauce
October 14, 2017
It's common for coaches and players to think that the effective elite coach has 'secret sauce' in their coaching that lower level coaches don't. But most research into effective coaches reveals that the best coaches do basic things that all coaches do - but the best coaches do them better.
So what is the 'secret sauce'? First, international coaches are working with the very best with the goal of making them even better. In other words, those players have to learn. In the case of team sports, players have a greater chance of learning if you follow seven learning rules - that aren't so secret!
Let players learn by doing, not from you talking
reduce your talk time and get them going – it increases player time on task
with familiar drills, set practice going with two or three “cue“ words
Repetition leads to learning
BUT, only perfect practice makes perfect (and permanent)
SO make sure you provide enough “goes” in each drill for learning to happen
Making mistakes is part of getting it right
don’t critique individual repetitions; let the drill run and make comments after everyone has had a chance to try or to work it out
Don’t provide all the information
hold some back so players have to think
some coaches like to add an element of confusion to each drill to force players to think – just like a game
Take players through the base stages of skill experience:
uncontested walk through
uncontested at around 50% (applies to individual skills and team combinations)
uncontested at 80%-90%
partially (or soft defense) – allow the skill to succeed
intermediate defense where pressure is now applied (offensive or defensive) again allowing the skill to succeed
fully opposed, where the player must execute the skill in a decision-making mode (just like a game).
All players should expect to be spoken to personally in every session. Technical correction or refinement is core business for coaches.
Rules 1-6 work in harmony, they overlap and apply at all times, so: “Apply each rule without breaking any of rules 1-6".