It’s been about 10 weeks since my original blog; written on the verge of attending my first coaching
course. Since then, I continue to be amazed & excited by the opportunities that are opening up.
Let me divulge.
Encouragingly, due to the course (Level 1 Football Coaching) being aimed at the female game, there was 1 man present out of about 20 girls and he was only there by mistake! But credit to him, he stayed.
I was by far the oldest person present and also the one with the least amount of practical experience; although I was way ahead in terms of life experience,
which I think is an invaluable asset in coaching.
On the first evening, an experienced (male) coach walked in simply to introduce himself to everyone. As I recognized him from Twitter, we had a very brief chat, which culminated the following day in an invitation to come along to a girls training session to see if I’d like to become involved. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! To cut a long story short, I’m now fully involved in helping to coach and set up the youth teams that are being established with my local ladies football club. Success!
Furthermore, this coach is now my mentor, which has been an incredible blessing as he constantly gets me thinking & questioning the reasons ‘why’ we do what we do in training. (De-briefing sessions amongst coaches are as important as the coaching itself. Self-reflection & constructive, honest feedback is vital).
In order to help me further understand how coaching works from a players point of view, I started going along to the ladies training sessions. (It also was a great way to gain some fitness and improve my very rusty football skills!) Interestingly, the explanation of ‘why’ we do a certain drill isn’t explained much at all; the focus is mainly on ‘how’, perhaps with a small interjection of ‘because this is what we would do in a game.’ This is not a criticism of the coaches – they are far more experienced than I am and know the girls/ ladies they are coaching – but part of me, (perhaps because I’m a woman?) wants to know ‘why’.
I wonder if other coaches apply this balance of ‘why’ along with ‘how’? Is it helpful to the players, or is it unnecessary? Does it make a difference?
In my job as a Primary School teacher, when pupils are writing or verbally discussing, they are always encouraged to use ‘because’, in order to help them understand, as well as to improve their levels of communication.
Many years ago I heard a great quote (but can’t remember who from): “The person who knows how, will always work for the person who knows why.”
Surely, if we can get the players we coach to understand ‘why’ they are doing something, it will help them?