Jools Murray is an accredited Strength & Conditioning coach from Canada and has worked with some of the World’s best athletes in the UK and her home country. Currently working at the University of Toronto, (Canada) with a number of sport, Jools previously worked with the English Institute of Sport whilst studying for her Masters in S&C, as well as coaching the U23 GB Ultimate Frisbee Team.
To find out more about Jools and to read our interview from June 2015 CLICK HERE
While on a coffee break in the kitchen at work, the men’s assistant hockey coach and I got talking. He asked me what the team’s behavior was like in the gym when the coaches weren’t around. This sparked an interesting thought for me.
I am definitely a coach who believes in athlete autonomy. That they should be in control of their performance which includes all the different aspects of being an athlete. They are the only ones who are at the centre of exposure to all the different types of demands and support being placed/given to them. A simple way to observe this would be in seeing the difference between a session with and without supervision. For me, these should look exactly the same. They shouldn’t need me there to remind them to stay focused, or to help them have intent. They shouldn’t need me there to reaffirm a job well done, or tell them off when they don’t clean up after themselves. I am aware that not all coaches or athletes feel this way, and there are times when this approach would not be appropriate.
What I do think is there is something to be said to be aware of what things look like when you aren’t there; this could be an indicator of their performance behaviors. After all, when it comes down to performance, the only person who can do it is them. If they don’t have ownership of this, how much can they truly back themselves and the decisions they make under pressure?