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Coaches Corner: Over-Coaching is not Effective

October 19th, 2021

The most important part of coaching is teaching your athletes to read the game. Coaches who only yell orders at athletes disrupt this lesson.

It's important for coaches to provide constructive criticism and reveal flaws or mistakes to their team and players so they can improve. However, in many situations, coaches try to script out each pass and move for their team. With this coaching strategy, the athletes become accustomed to reacting to orders from the sidelines instead of processing what's happening in the game. Because they aren’t reacting instinctively and using their own judgment, their effectiveness, performance, and opportunity are limited which slows the player down.

Competition can be messy with both teams in a small space trying to battle for the same goal of winning. There are going to be many mistakes and that's okay. This is all part of the process of learning to improve.

In the short term, barking out play-by-play commands could be effective, but it won't help in the long run. This type of coaching conditions athletes to rely on someone else’s voice to make moves instead of developing their own instincts. It also means you haven't prepared them effectively in practice. When they have the opportunity to exercise their own instincts, it allows them to react quicker and perform more effectively.

I often remind my athletes that they're not robots. Both in sports and in life, they won't have someone else constantly feeding them instructions. They must learn to read, react and adjust to the situation.

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