When we all start as coaches, we want to show our stuff. We give the athletes everything we know in the first 10-minutes of a practice or training session- ha-ha! Been there, done that!
Authentic coaching comes when we start to realize less is better. What does less mean?
It’s about giving one thing to think about or work on. You can handle that- right?
But if I give you 5-7 things to focus on and try to develop, you’ll most likely struggle. I bet if I gave you 3-4 focuses, it would be a less productive day because your attention will be spread out.
When I train athletes, I concentrate on one, possibly two, skills other than during the warm-up. I have several variations of particular drills to challenge the athletes’ ownership of the skill. The other thing I will do is have the athletes perform a different skill that is very similar in its patterning.
For example, I will first train the athlete in the Lateral Shuffle, then add the Lateral Run Step. These two skills are extremely similar in the initial part of the lateral gait cycle. The shuffle is a Push, Pull, Repeat, and the Lateral Run is a Push, Open, Push. Great carryover from one skill to the next.
The goal is to achieve results. So, if we focus on too many things, do we get results that “stick?” I don’t think so.
If we focus on one skill, we can pull off big wins.
When an athlete, or anyone for that matter, has the chance to put all their focus and practice in one direction, the chances of reaching positive results go way up.
I want my athletes leaving a session saying, “whoa, I got better at that skill today; I feel great”! This is what our job is about. It’s not about exposure; it’s about achievement. Youngsters, athletes, adults, and patients can give themselves exposure to things without us. If they want specific results, we need to dial them into what’s important, what matters, and what is efficient.
Training one skill, with slight variations, allows the coach to be focused as well. We can dial in on what’s essential when it comes to making adjustments.
What might be most important is the athlete(s) will gain confidence. They don’t gain confidence when too many things are going on… because they are not sure what they learned. The results may be too much to remember.
One skill, one focus! It’s incredible how quickly the correctives needed to help the athlete on this one skill or pattern will appear. It’s because all your energy as a coach is focused and not watered down by what’s next.
Being a great coach is about impact. If you can impact an athlete in a positive way on how they move you and they win. Go for wins!
The Speed Toolbox is about wins. It’s designed to allow coaches, trainers, teachers, and therapists just like YOU to dial in on how skills, like the Lateral Shuffle and Lateral Run Step, operate. You choose what you want and need to work on and then go to work learning more.
Keep it is focused and straightforward, and you will be a winner as well. Join the community that is making a difference.