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April 2021 in review: coaching excellence

The site theme in April was coaching excellence. We looked in detail at what separates the good from the great coaches, and how coaches can move from one level to the next. Below we have links to all our new and archived content on the topic, including 9 new articles and 2 new podcasts.

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3 overlooked methods to improve your coaching

Good coaches are learners. What often separates the average from the good coach is their process for continuing to learn. Research on serial winning coaches has confirmed that as well: coaches repeatedly at the top of their sport were shown to be highly curious, lifelong learners who drove success through vision, values, and environment.

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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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How elite coaches learn

Behind every successful athlete is a coach. Whilst we typically have a good idea of what goes into developing an elite athlete, we tend to pay much less attention to how elite coaches develop. This is obviously a gap in our thinking; if we want to have successful athletes, and to sustain the success of those athletes, then we need an army of coaches with the ability to develop and support them. As a coach reading this, you might be thinking about how you can best develop, and what situations can you engineer for yourself to best drive your development. Fortunately, there is plenty of research to guide us.

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Seeking, accumulating, and connecting knowledge in coaching

Coaching is a dynamic, complex, and often chaotic process. Coaches often get caught in the continuous cycle of planning, delivering, and reviewing. At times it is essential for the coach to step back and hit pause to question this process. One question that the coach might have after a succession of those cycles is: “How do we getter better as a team?” This question might evolve into “How do I get better as a coach?” or “How do I get better as a person”? As we will explore in this article, the learning process of a coach is not only based on acquiring new knowledge and habits but also changing them.

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Connecting the dots

Perhaps I am borderline ADD but as soon as I start to answer a question or explore something new my mind starts racing with ideas that connect. Some of the ideas are dead ends but others have proved very productive. Read more

My learning milestones

I have been thinking lately on who and what shaped and influenced my ideas over the years. It has been a process of searching for knowledge to get better at getting better. These reflections make me realize how fortunate I have been in my life to be in the right place at the right time. The foundations for this journey was laid by my parents and the education I received in parochial elementary and high school where we were taught to think. It goes without saying that the athletes and colleagues I have been able to work with were also a constant source of learning for me. Read more

GAINcast Episode 181: Reading, learning, and living

Coaches often aim to get better at various facets of training. One thing we forget: we can also get better at learning. On this week’s GAINcast we share lessons learned on learning, how to improve what you get out of reading, and much more. We also include references to our recent books, articles, and podcasts that can jump start your learning. Read more

GAINcast Episode 168: Thoughts on getting better

Everybody trains and everybody trains hard. So what separates the good from the great? How they use their time and energy in training. The best coaches and athletes have a relentless focus on learning and getting better. On this week’s GAINcast we dive into some thoughts on getting better, including some practical examples of how to put learning processes into practice. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – July 2019

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. The amount of research in sports science has exploded, and for coaches in the trenches it can be hard to keep up on it all. That is one of the reasons we have put together the Sports Science Monthly, and we start off the July edition by looking at where coaches get their sports science information. After that we look into new research on small-sided games, re-examine training load monitoring, as well as looking into other topics. Read more