GAINcast Episode 214: The good coach

We all talk about good coaching and see to know it when we see it, but often we are lost for words when asked to describe it. On this week’s GAINcast we dive into coaching excellence by defining it, sharing examples from our own experiences, exploring how coaches get better, and looking at how different components contribute to success.

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Notes and quotes

  • 0:00 – Introduction.
  • 2:15 – What is good coaching? “Too often we look at a coach and measure them by their wins or titles, as opposed to how effective they are at being a teacher helping their athletes improve.”
  • 6:00 – Top down vs. bottom up learning: “There are different ways to teach, but they key is that something is being learned. A lot of what Bondarhuck does, for example, is not considered ‘good’ coaching in terms of communication, cues, or feedback. But his approach makes you think, which forces you to learn.”
  • 10:00 – Measuring coaching performance: “One measure of coaching performance is athlete retention. Athletes are smart: they aren’t going to stick around if the coach is bad and they stop improving. I have a lot of respect for coaches that have worked with the same athletes for their whole career.”
  • 13:00 – Athlete dependencies and cross-cultural coaching: “Before you convey any knowledge, you have to connect with the person. The deeper the connection with the person, the easier it is to convey technical knowledge.”
  • 16:15 – Technical expertise: “What I started, technical expertise was paramount. It’s still important to me, but it’s not as important as how you impart that knowledge to the athlete.” “I’ve seen many coaches be successful in the hammer throw after coming from other events. They might not be hammer experts, but they understand movement and understand people. That is more important than detailed technical knowledge.”
  • 22:45 – Does coaching matter?
  • 26:30 – Mentoring: “When I was 20 my coach let me write my own strength program. In hindsight it was a bit crazy. What did I know? But I learned so much from that experience.” “Once you don’t enjoy coaching anymore, stop coaching. You’ll ruin the experience for everyone else.”
  • 36:00 – Evolving as a coach: “Top coaches might change their tactics, but they don’t change their core philosophy. They make course corrections, but they don’t turn the ship around.”
  • 39:00 – Ideas on professional development.

To hear more about these topics you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.

Further reading

The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic: