We have all heard of the description of coaching being art v science – the coach learns the science behind the sport and then uses their own artistic interpretations to apply it to a programme and a group of athletes. Teach 100 coaches the science and you will get 100 different coaching programmes because each one interprets the information in slightly different ways. So the success of these 100 coaching programmes depends solely on the human-being behind the coach.
Not every qualified coach will be a great coach. Being a great coach involves passion, intelligence, an open mind, patience, discipline, a want to learn, maturity, the right athlete and a complete understanding of the science…not every coach is going to have the winning formula. To think of this in another scenario…think of driving. Most of us learn to drive in our teenage years, we learn the rules of the road, how to make the car move forwards and backwards and how to get from A – B safely. However, passing a driving test does not make us Lewis Hamilton (or Susie Wolff!). Formula 1 drivers have passed the same driving test we all have, but they have the formula to make them expectational drivers. You can’t take an average Jo off the local roads and teach him or her how to be a Formula 1 driver – you either have the formula or you don’t and the ones with the formula work hard at it, very hard.
This is no different in coaching; you can’t take an average Jo off the streets and turn them into an exceptional coach. The ones who will be the most successful have the formula mentioned above and they will work dam hard at it to achieve success. They will take responsibility for their own learning, be dedicated, take criticism, be passionate and seek out the best athletes.