Player-centred coaching – can it work with 7-year olds?

I posted a couple of weeks ago about my experience of Coaching in the Knowledge Era, an online coach education course from Deakin University delivered by Paddy Upton, on

I have just completed the follow-up course, Player-Centred Coaching – just as thought-provoking, and I have been left with a lot of ideas to think about.

For me, there were perhaps two main takeaways from the course.

  1. The importance of “individual-invisible” attributes – attitudes, emotions & thoughts –  in player development.
  2. That explicit inclusion of players with some existing knowledge of their own games in review and planning phases of the learning cycle [play-review-plan-practice- and repeat] delivers more accurate review, more relevant planning, and better player buy-in to the whole process.

But perhaps, for the young players I mostly work with, direct involvement with the planning and review phases might be asking too much, just yet.

That still left me with a challenge for my own coaching practice – what strategies can I use to help the players I work with to begin to understand and develop the positive attributes in that individual-invisible sector?

Continue reading “Player-centred coaching – can it work with 7-year olds?”

Performance development is not just for “performance” athletes – podcast with Mark Bennett & Stuart Armstrong

Fascinating podcast from Stuart Armstrong with Mark Bennett MBE, founder of PDS (Performance Development Systems) .

Lots of take-aways for coaches from this, and their earlier podcast, not least the definition of “performance” as a behaviour or “state of being”, rather than a standard. For a coach working mostly with “participation” or “community” players, that means I could help them to develop appropriate performance behaviours to carry them onwards through their future careers, sporting or otherwise.

Continue reading “Performance development is not just for “performance” athletes – podcast with Mark Bennett & Stuart Armstrong”

Coachability – is it a thing?

Should we seek, or create, cricketers who are “coachable”? Can we even agree what we mean by “coachable”?

I came across a fascinating article quoting  Brittney Reese, multiple World and Olympic Champion in the long jump, on the process of becoming a champion.

A story from the 2013 World Championships was especially interesting.  Reese, at that time the reigning World Champion, had only just managed to qualify for the final.

“…my coach told me to ‘stop acting like a girl, and just jump’.

That night I went back, looked at the film and tried to figure out where I was going wrong.”

This was presented as evidence of Reese’s “coachability”, but I’m not sure this really demonstrates “coachability”, not as I understand the term, at least. Continue reading “Coachability – is it a thing?”