I was once lucky enough to visit Everton FC's training ground, which was exactly as you would imagine a Premier League team's multi-million pound training facility to be - top of the range, innovative, with incredible attention of detail. It seems no stone is left upturned when it comes to developing talent. As part of … Continue reading Are We Recognising Talent Too Young?
When it comes to involvement in sport, we are still using growth as the measure of success. Government and sports governing bodies will use the increase in participants as a badge of honour, to prove how healthy they are. We have increased participation by 10% this year, therefore our sport must be doing well. I … Continue reading Sports Clubs – Retention Is More Important Than Growth.
A lot has been written about the impact of technology in society today, particularly smart phones and social media. One of the biggest changes has been that we now have the answer to any question we might want to answer in our pocket. All we need to do is Google it. For sports - and … Continue reading Coaches – How You Make Someone Feel Is More Important Than What You Know.
One of the trends that concerns me the most in sports coaching today is what a clever-person described to me as the "weaponisation" of coaching. By this, I mean the use of fancy terminology or acronyms that evidences how much knowledge a coach has. The more a coach can weaponise their knowledge -- the more … Continue reading How Might We Stop the Weaponisation of Coaching?
Bill Walsh, the legendary coach of the San Francisco 49ers, had a concise approach towards leading a successful organisation the 1980s. A successful Coach, or Leader, had to "Listen, Learn, Lead". Given how successful he was as a Coach (winning 3 Superbowls - the first less than two years after the team had only won … Continue reading Coaches Don’t Need To Have The Answer.
In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate most effectively have prevailed. However, in the world of competitive sport, there is often a fear of allowing competitors to see how you go about your business, in case they steal your ideas. Clubs, athletes and coaches are often convinced their way of doing … Continue reading How Might We Get Clubs to Work Together for the Benefit of our Sports?
In sport, we have heard some version of the adage "your best coaches should work with your youngest athletes". My view is that we need a different way of judging whether a person has the skills to work with talented young people, because the skills required to be a UKCC Level 4 / Pro Licence … Continue reading Do We Have the Right People Coaching Our Talented Young Athletes?
In my experience, there are many ego-driven coaches. It's difficult to have a short conversation with some of them without being told what club they work for, or how many champions they have produced. However, what concerns me at a grassroots level is that coaches are quick to share their successes, but often tight lipped … Continue reading Coaches Should Speak More About Their Failures.
It is interesting to me that a quiet, introverted person will often be accused of lacking in social skills. However, by listening to others talk without the need to speak, we are actually practising the most important social skill of all. We carry an image of what a coach should do, and this is often … Continue reading Coaching: Listening Is The Real Super Power.
As someone with a vested interest in sport coaching and sport development, it continues to amaze me how many of us are not living by the same rules that we demand of the groups we work with. We turn up, we do our work and we go home - but other than that, what are … Continue reading Getting Better at Sport: Not Just a Job For Athletes.