Is patience over-rated?

I do quite a bit* of coaching with younger children, 7 and younger, right down to weekly groups with 3-4 year olds. Sessions can be messy, they can be loud, sometimes they must look pretty chaotic.

In truth, I really do quite enjoy the chaos (sometimes). I’ll let activities run on, if the players are engaging in some sort of “constructive” play.

Probably the most frequent feedback I receive, from parents and fellow coaches, regards “patience” — how I must have incredible depths of patience to work with the young groups, how much the children enjoy the freedom they get to play and learn.

And I also get the counter-statement — “it’s OK to be firmer with the kids, if they misbehave” (i.e. “you really are too patient, sometimes”).

I am coming to the conclusion that patience by itself might not be the virtue that it is held up as.

Continue reading Is patience over-rated?

Coach education — minimum set?

I recently updated my CV (no, I am not applying for new jobs, just a periodic review and trim) and it is now overflowing with CPD courses — mostly interesting, and all relevant in some way to the work I am doing, but I suspect that only a few will actually change how I coach (for the better, hopefully).

Which set me wondering about the “minimum set” of qualifications required to call yourself a coach?

What are the most important lessons from coach education — formal qualification, ongoing CPD, informal learning — lessons that have fundamentally shaped the way I coach?

Continue reading Coach education — minimum set?

Not many answers…but learning to ask better questions

When I first started posting to this blog, the strapline I chose was “in search of innovation in cricket”. I believed (hoped) that it should be possible to find novel solutions to coaching and technical issues.

Over the years, it has become apparent that there are probably very few absolute answers. “It depends” seems to be the standing response from researchers and experienced coaches. Even when an answer is correct today, new research, new knowledge, might mean that by tomorrow that answer might no longer be true.

So perhaps the best I can hope to do is to learn how to ask better questions.