Coaching is like gardening — What is coaching? (1)

Really interesting post from @davidhinchliffe on how he uses the constraints-led approach in his own coaching practice.

I was particularly taken with the line “instead of a fault-fixer, think of yourself as a problem-setter…” Or, from an ecological dynamics/constraints-led approach viewpoint, coach as “environmental designer”, perhaps?

Or, maybe, gardener?

Continue reading “Coaching is like gardening — What is coaching? (1)”

Preparing the ground — What is coaching? (2)

Looking at coaching from an ecological dynamics/constraints-led approach viewpoint (which I do tend to do, nowadays), the role of the coach might be likened to that of a gardener.

And one gardening skill that acquires great importance in this model is the ability to prepare the ground, whether that be the learning environment itself or the player’s own receptivity to learning.

By definition, effective CLA-style learning does not occur in an environment were all activities are closely directed and regulated (“do this; do it this way; do it again until you get it right”). The coach is charged with creating that learning environment.

Equally, the player who has only ever learnt in a formal, regulated environment (sat at a school desk, or drilled on a sports field) will probably struggle when thrown into a less structured learning environment. The coach has a role in helping the athlete adapt to the learning environment.

So the coach must prepare the ground if he hopes to see the players he works with thriving.

Continue reading “Preparing the ground — What is coaching? (2)”

Batting slumps and other losses of form — what to do next?

I suspect that most of us who have played cricket for any length of time will have experienced a run of poor scores.

Often for no apparent reason — not down to any obvious technical failings, or over-confidence, or excessive diffidence.

That next run can seem a very long way away, as you take guard for another innings.

But as with any challenge, in sport or in life, a bad run can be the opportunity to re-group, re-define goals, and move on to better things.

Continue reading “Batting slumps and other losses of form — what to do next?”