The player is paramount – all coaching should be tailored the ability and ambition of the player.
For the coach, developing the growth mind-set, in the players and in him or her self, can be as important as any technical and physical improvements they can instil.
To develop and instil the growth mind-set, the coach needs to demonstrate that improvement is always achievable through appropriate, purposeful practice, and that success comes by way of continued improvement, not a single moment of genius.
The role of the coach is:
- to provide the right environment (one that is psychologically and emotionally supportive) for players to grow and develop;
- to deliver coaching sessions and plans that are focused on outcomes, and to build intention into every practice;
- and thus to draw excellence out, never to try to force excellence into the athlete.
Communication is vital – listening is as important as talking, for player and coach.
If players do not enjoy the coaching experience they will not benefit or develop, and they won’t come back next week!
So, for the coach, “getting better” means designing practice sessions and plans that allow (that demand) incremental improvement in skills, in physical and mental strength, in tactical awareness. It means never accepting “good enough” or “best ever”, but always looking for the next step up.