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What makes up a good coaching session? | Welcome and General | ConnectedCoaches

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Home » Groups » Welcome and General » blogs » Blake Richardson » What makes up a good coaching session?
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Melanie Mallinson, Yusuf Karolia and 8 others like this.
 

Comments (6)

  
StoolballCoach
Anita Broad said:

Excellent advice as always from Richard! Cheers.

07/03/17
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 · Rob Maaye and Richard Cheetham like this.
 
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dancottrell1
Dan Cottrell said:

Excellent, though I do want to muse on some of the ideas...and I am willing to be told I'm wrong.
Setting out the learning objectives/outcomes: because learners are non-linear dynamic systems, an outcome is hard to measure. I wouldn't set out an objective explicitly, just because of that. Instead, I now focus on areas we are going to explore. And, I don't always do this explicitly. Any great novelist draws you in by leaving enough gaps for you to want to fill in. Why not do this with our introductions. Perhaps start with a familiar game in the warm up. Introduce a new rule which forces them to think differently. Then build the session around discovering ways to solve that puzzle.

Asking questions: I think we need to be careful to "ask" questions in the right way. By this, I believe we can find ourselves literally asking the questions, rather than letting the scenarios or games ask the questions. The players have to answer them physically, not verbally. So, pose the questions in the games. This can be through changing the parameters. Of course, we can still verbally ask questions, but does that mean that they will then reproduce that in a game situation? What's the research behind that? I'm not denying that it might work, yet I sense some players become good "answerers". For example, I've taken teachers on a coaching course, played a game and asked them at the end of the first section, what they could've improved upon. Communication is the answer most give. And yet, pretty much for the rest of the day, in a games, very few have improved. I'm sure that's echoed across all age groups.

08/03/17
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cheetham

Dan - thank you for your comments. Well this approach is reflective of ideas that have been effective and developed from coaching across all ages as well as working with coaches. I am very mindful of the questioning in sessions for example (as that seems to be your focus)- the groups have really responded to 'owning the learning' through this and opportunities to develop their skills further. Great attention is paid to all aspects of the coaching and coach education sessions which are built on experience, awareness, research and feedback. I offer an open invitation to you to come along to any of the workshops and seminars - feedback, balanced and well considered is always welcome. But you may have to pretend to be a kangaroo or gorilla like all the others. And If you start feedback with the word 'excellent' then as you know yourself from coaching - just tell the athlete why it was excellent :) - that always helps the learning process.

10/03/17
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dancottrell1
Dan Cottrell said:

Richard, First, thank you for the invite. I would be delighted to be a gorilla (or a bigger monkey)
Second, I am constantly challenging my own understanding of the process. My musings are based on what I have seen as poor coaching. That's why I thought what you said was excellent. The correct balance of questioning is very hard to define because the situations are so dynamic. A group session is so different to a one-to-one. I am trying to find the best way for me to challenge my athletes to come up with the answers, or at least an answer.
Reading back my post, it might have sounded a bit demanding about the research! Apologies for that. Just keen to learn and where to find out more, rather than question whether you are right or not.
Third, I'm interested in the debate about learning outcomes, how to measure them (and if we can effectively). Again, where do I look for more information?
And to complete the message sandwich in the best way, and genuinely too, I enjoyed the article and, as always, you've really helped me (though posed me some more questions too).

10/03/17
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 · Richard Cheetham likes this.
 
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cheetham

Hi Dan thank you and the learning outcomes is an interesting area (I am hoping that there is more attention paid to learning strategies as opposed to learning styles) - it is almost how we have been expected to start our coaching by stating what we wish to achieve at the end and not being open to what else could emerge. Your reference to 'discovery' is absolutely spot on as often participants / athletes coaches find something that wasn't on the list! That could be anything from confidence to developing a problem solving solution. The evolution of movement from play to fundamentals and Deliberate practice - was a great way in which the group answered the task physically. As you say the more food for thought continually challenges us as to reflect on how we coach and how we learn. I think it is 'watch this space' - from lego to the gruffalo and using the go-pro has opened more opportunities to think differently

10/03/17
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Nollzer
Val Andrews said:

Great article and insight. Coaching outcomes are the foundation and cornerstones of a good session. Note that these are not coaching objectives. This is important as the chief phrase for coaches in formulating outcomes is... At the end of the session, the player will have .. This forces the coach to think about the participant. Objectives on the other hand allow such thoughts I am... As a fan of John Wooden, I feel that all activities should be timed, including down time and questioning time. This is difficult but aids intensity and discipline. The session plan, in my opinion, should also address RPE for each activity and the physiological energy systems being utilised during the schedule activities. This detail should match the physical demands of your sport and keep the session sports specific. The session structure, I feel should facilitate implicit learning and have reduced inputs from the coaching staff. This forces the coach to design and plan highly specific game based sessions.
The coach and player alike should reflect on the session. Nowadays, the best way is video shot by on a phone, and loaded to a private YouTube channel for storage. What went well? Opportunities for improvement? Goals for next session? These tend to be easily coached. The real progress is obtained when players and coaches, reflect on their thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions. Reflection to recognise negative and positive psychological factors affecting either performance in training or competition, is hugely beneficial. The simple physiological factors, sleep, tiredness, nutrition should also be considered.

03/05/17
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 · Rob Maaye, Richard Cheetham and 1 other like this.
 
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