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Coach Like TED



For those of you that know what TED is, you know what a powerful tool it can be.  Presentations from some of the Worlds top minds to an audience full of the worlds top minds.  For those of you that don’t, I urge you to visit their website.  It is full of 20 minute inspiring, thought provoking videos ranging from the super logical to the very strange!  Entrepreneurs, scientists, sports stars and many other successful people are invited to present on any topic of their choice for 20 minutes.  Believe me, there are some amazing presentations!

Anyway, Coach Like TED.   Based on the book by Carmine Gallo “Talk Like TED”, my blog below uses the chapter headings in the book that explains how to deliver a prefect TED Talk and rather than applying them to presenting a speech, I have applied them to delivering a Coaching session:

1.Unleash the Master Within – to be a successful coach, you have got to know what your coaching! Now this sounds obvious and I am not for one second suggesting that you can only be a successful coach if you know every single detail about what your coaching (which in this day and age with biomechanics, match analysis, psychology and much more is almost impossible!), but you definitely need to be proactive in learning as much as you can.  Read books & articles, listen to audio, watch videos, attend conferences and workshop...do everything you can to improve your knowledge.  And not only that, be confident with your knowledge!   Your athletes and players need to trust you, they need support from you and they need to know that what you’re asking them to do on a cold, rainy Sunday morning is going to make them better athletes and players!  And if you’re not confident enough to ‘release the master within’ – fake it! Act as if!

2.Master the Art of Storytelling – It has been scientifically proven by brain scans that story telling engages the human brain and can help the speaker connect with their audience.  It is of course an essential part of coaching, being able to engage your athletes or players.  So, paint them a picture and make them imagine and feel the rewards of what you need them to do.  Tell them a story of when you were an athlete and when the hard work paid off, tell them stories of their favorite athletes or teams when they won races or matches or championships.  Engage the athletes imagination and you will engage the whole athlete.  Tell a story and make them believe that anything is possible.

3.Have a conversation – a Coach has to be many things to an athlete; a leader, a motivator, a parent, a critic, a Councillor etc etc.  (I am sure we could come up with a list of a hundred things!) As a Coach, you have to make sure that your body language and tone matches whatever role you are displaying verbally, if not, your listeners will distrust your message!  So, practice your delivery and internalize your content so that you can present your words and instructions as easily as if you were having a conversation with a close friend.

4.Teach Me Something New – Probably the most obvious point, teach your athletes and players something new!  As they evolve, what you teach them evolves.  Hence why you have to keep on top of your knowledge.  Make sure you keep them on their toes, ensure that every now and again you teach them something completely new, keep learning novel for them.

5.Deliver Jaw Dropping Moments – grab your athletes attention by surprising them, impressing them, or delivering surprising news to them.  Can you surprise them with a fun team building session?  Invite an athlete or someone of stature they respect to your session?  Impress them by showing them something you can do?  Keep them on their toes, and give them no choice but to  give you there full attention.

6.Lighten up – don’t take yourself as a Coach too seriously.  Yes of course there are moments when you need to be the leader, take charge and make a decision there and then within a game moment, but you have got to lighten up!  Players and athletes will not respond to a coach that is always shouting, criticizing and can’t take a joke.  So lighten up; make fun of yourself, join in with team bonding games, dress up at Halloween, organise a Christmas party...let your team know that you do have a sense of humor.  This will lower individual players defenses and make them more willing to listen.

7.Stick to the 18 minute Rule – human brains go into overload when they receive too much information for too long a time period.  If you have something important you need to focus on in a session, aim to deliver it in 18 minutes.  Get straight to the point and give them your message.  If it has to be longer than this, make sure you have a good amount of breaks in between for them to recharge.

8.Paint a Mental Picture – athletes like to be challenged and they do not like being bored.  Try and deliver your session or your message by tapping into as many senses as possible for your athletes.  Senses such as sight, sound, touch, taste and smell will support the learning of the athlete and will allow them to visualize their task ahead and improve their focus and concentration.  The more senses that are engaged, the deeper the message will be embedded in their bodies.

9.Stay in your lane – if your a Track Coach, this one is pretty much the number 1 rule!  But in a more metaphorical sense, staying in your lane refers to being honest and genuine with your athletes and players.  Everyone can spot a phony and if you don’t believe in the message your delivering, neither will your players.  If you are not confident about being a Coach, your players won’t be confident players.  Be authentic, open and transparent, do not deviate from who you are trying to be.

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