Coaching Challenge 2

The visual plan...

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 2: Everything is Written Down and Displayed

In my experience, swimming coaches are great at this. Strength and Conditioning coaches too. It is also a strong point for those who train powerlifters and weightlifters.

The challenge is for your program to be written up, perhaps on a white board, so that every athlete can see what is in store for them in the upcoming session.

The best implementation of this Challenge I have seen was with Craig McRae, as he transitioned from triple-premiership winning athlete to coach.

The whiteboard was in the change-rooms for the players to see as they got changed, strapped and prepped.

Craig would then run the players through the time-sheet and the expectations, emphasising the key points.

A coach would bring the whiteboard to the side of the field, holding each coach accountable to goals, expectations and time allocations and the players accountable to their goals and expectations.

We won the national championship that year.

Depending on the space available, consider displaying:

  • The activities/drills/games that are planned (including warm up, cool down, drinks/nutrition, etc.).
  • The duration of the activities (e.g. 0900-0915 Warm up, etc.).
  • The goals of each activity (e.g. technique, calmness under pressure, execution, etc.).
  • Name the coaches/players driving the session (initials work well).
  • Specific equipment to bring (e.g. mouth guard, sweat towel, special shoes, etc.).

The Rationale: There are many advantages to accept this challenge.

Firstly, there has to be communication and planning before this can be done. Each member of the coaching team has to understand what their role is, what their expectations are and how long they have to achieve these expectations.

No more 'So, um, what you wanna do now?'

Secondly, the athletes will be more prepared for the session. They will have the correct equipment, a clearer idea on what they need to focus on and might even be able to contribute more to the session itself.

The third benefit is time efficiency.

Too often we have a number of coaches having input during a game/drill/activity, each with their own ideas on what needs to be attained.

This means the activity is stopped too often for explanations and corrections.

With this Challenge, there is one coach in charge of each activity and all information goes through them. They are empowered to make the decision on whether to relay that information or not.

The flip side of this is that the other coaches don’t feel the need to stand and watch but can set up their activities, again minimising set up time.

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.

About Grant