Two Different Styles of Coaching

There are many different ways, styles and approaches that coaches can use when delivering a session in a particular sport. The coach will choose their style of coaching which bests suits them and their participants. Having looked through YouTube and watched many different videos on what methods coaches use within their session, I came across 2 tennis coaches which instantly allowed me to reflect upon. The video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKS1pBVlzv0, clearly shows 2 coaches coaching the same sport, however the way in which they deliver their sessions are hugely different and ones which can cause a mass debate. Both of the coaches are focusing on the Game Sense approach to coaching. Game Sense is a method in which the training is more focused around playing the game of the sport rather than working on one aspect of the sport. The Asian Journal of Exercise and Sports Science states that ‘skills were more likely apply to the game’ (Harvey, 2009) when using this approach, as well as ‘allowing players to solve problems’ (Harvey, 2009).

The first coach uses Game Sense approach, however he is very loud and likes to comment on what is happening. He doesn’t give the players time to think for themselves about what they need to work on to improve in their next shot. He also comes across as aggressive with his speech and in a sense, provides a running commentary on what is happening and how they should be performing to get the technique and outcome correct.This links in fantastically with a blog post which I have recently read on being a ‘silent coach’ when delivering a session. This goes on to say that when a coach is always commentating and shouting at their players, just like this tennis coach did, its like a teacher shouting at pupils when they are in an exam, always telling them what to do and how they should perform. It states that ‘A silent coach tries to create an environment for their players that empowers them to solve problems rather than dictating to them what the answers are’ (ImSporticus, 2015). What this is suggesting is that a silent coach places the ownership on the performer, it allows them to see how they can improve their performance further without the coaches dictation towards them. The coach may have to set the player small, individual targets to work towards in the game and ask them questions to generate them thinking, but the coach won’t be providing a running commentary and shouting when they get something wrong because failure can also lead to further learning and improvement. If the tennis coach uses this approach, he well have the full engagement of the players and will be able to see a huge improvement towards his participants than he would of done in the tennis session which I watched.

This also allows me to analyse the other tennis coach which was videoed. This coach had a completely different approach, one which followed the ‘silent coach’ approach which has been stated above. Just by listening to this coach speak and the way the session was ran, it was more successful and the players were fully engaged because the coach wasn’t providing a running commentary. Once the players got into the session, the coach only praised and encouraged. He then set small individual targets for each player and afterwards the players seemed to have learnt and understood the game/session more than the first coach did. However, once this coach had older participants, he didn’t follow this approach and resorted back to a running commentary and shouting and screaming when the session didn’t go to plan. Is this because of the age of the participants and the way in which they learn?

Taking these points into consideration, I feel I fall into the many other coaches category of providing a commentary and ‘liking the sound of my own voice’ when I come to coach. In my next session when I coach, I am going to follow this silent coach method and see if there is a difference. I will then ask the participants if they saw a difference in the style of my coaching and whether they prefer/disagree with what I intended to do. I will also ask them if they learnt more in the coaching session where I was being a silent coach, rather than the one where I was always talking and if this is the case, I will continue to use this approach from then on.

Reference List:

Harvey, S. (2009) ‘A STUDY OF  INTERSCHOLASTIC  SOCCER  PLAYERS  PERCEPTIONS OF  LEARNING WITH  GAME  SENSE’, Asian Journal of Exercise & Sports Science, 9(1), pp. 1–10.

Harvey, S. (2009) ‘A STUDY OF  INTERSCHOLASTIC  SOCCER  PLAYERS  PERCEPTIONS OF  LEARNING WITH  GAME  SENSE’, Asian Journal of Exercise & Sports Science, 9(1), pp. 1–10.

ImSporticus (2015) ‘The way of the silent coach’, The Way of the Silent Coach, 14 November. Available at: https://drowningintheshallow.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/the-way-of-the-silent-coach/ (Accessed: 10 December 2015).

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