Coaching Challenge 1

Speak less...

We’ve all heard about ’8 Week Fitness Challenges’ run out of almost every commercial fitness centre, well, this is a ’8 Week Coaching Challenge’ designed to help improve your coaching.

At the end of each week we will post a Coaching Challenge for you to integrate into your coaching for the following week.


Challenge 1: Do not speak for more than 30 seconds at a time

Too often we see coaches talking and athletes listening with very little engagement, learning and understanding.

Your challenge is never speak for more than 30 seconds at a time.

Of course, you can stop the game or drill and provide feedback, corrections or progressions but at no time can you speak for more than 30 seconds.

The Rationale: There are 3 reasons we like this challenge: physiological, pedagogical, and periodisation.

Firstly, every time an activity is stopped for the coach to speak heart rates, breathing rates and sweating rates start to return to resting levels.

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Do this often enough and for long enough and it means that you’re going to have to find other times in your already squeezed schedule to do ‘fitness stuff’.

On the other hand, if lecture time is minimised, the athletes get a conditioning effect through the regular practice.

Secondly, by limiting your speaking time to 30 seconds means your drills and games need to be familiar to your athletes.

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While young coaches often think their more experienced counter parts have a wider selection of drills/games, the truth is that the experienced coaches seem to have small collection of drills/game but plenty of options, variations and progressions.

Lastly, the ’30 Second Challenge’ prevents any drill that ‘I saw on YouTube’/the All Blacks do/’I’ve just made up’ from suddenly appearing at practice.

It means that a coach must break the drill/game down into it’s simplest parts, introduce it to the athletes and can only progress it when the athletes are ready.

3 good reasons to accept this challenge.

Remember, most athletes prefer to ‘do’ rather than ‘listen’.

If you felt the Coaching Challenge helped, or stimulated you in some way, please feel free to share this page or leave a comment below – we’d love to hear about your experience.

For more Coaching Challenges click here.

PS We're on Twitter @propelperform

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