There have been several interesting conversations recently on the coach’s use of silence – keeping quiet, and allowing the “game to teach the game”, and refraining from constant interruption and instruction.
In particular, I enjoyed a post from ImSporticus – The Way of the Silent Coach.
An ideal, perhaps, and certainly applicable to matchplay. I think I would struggle to maintain the silence through a practice session, however.
I might adopt two minimalist, almost value-neutral interventions, ascribed to Ric Charlesworth, on watching a “trial-and-error” session:
- “fair enough” (“you tried, it didn’t work out this time”)
- “good” (as in “you have demonstrated the desired outcome”)
That’s all. Leave the player to get on with the game.
I began a new coaching assignment towards the end of last year, working with a university cricket club.
Quite a mixed group, by ability – from County Performance Programme and 2nd XI experience, through club players, to part-time “I used to play a bit at home”.
All highly intelligent, most seemingly keen to make the most of having access to a full-time coach.
And the temptation as a coach is to keep talking, to keep coming up with new ideas, new solutions for technical flaws, real and imagined.
A temptation I shall try to resist…it will be interesting to see how the players will buy into “fair enough” and “good”!