Is there any room for ‘Old School Coaching’?


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Each week pose a topic every Wednesday for you to join in and send us your thoughts via twitter, Facebook or our online  forum.  Since it began back in October 2014,  thousands of coaches have taken part and shared their thoughts about everything from gender stereotyping, coach education and even sports bras!

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Old school coaching is defined by ‘a command style of coaching’ in which the coach simply tells the athletes how to be and how to act.  The command style coach usually has a demeanor that is less than pleasant and feels that he or she must be serious 100% of the time or the athlete will not respond.  The United States Sports Academy identify the old school way in more detail and use characteristics such as: punish first, converse later, immediate short-term respect, knowledge of technical skills, but not tactical, undivided attention when speaking…

The ‘new school coach’ is not as domineering. A ‘new school coach’ seeks to earn the respect of his/her athletes by demonstrating the knowledge they need to be successful.

To read more on this research and to read the differences between old school and new school –CLICK HERE

With these approaches in mind – we want to ask you:

  • Is there still room for the old school approach?
  • Are there times when the ‘new’ way simply doesn’t work?
  • Are there elements of ‘old school’ coaching you need to use in everyday coaching?
  • Have you got examples of watching the old school approach work?
  • Have you got examples of watching the old school approach fail?

Answers from twitter, Facebook, the FCN Forum and website –

Jackie Derr –  YES!! Kids are soft anymore and need to be tough on the court!

Jo Kadlecek – If old school is caring, firm & encouraging, yes! Role models, like , motivate to excellence!

Melissa Hyndman – We can learn lots from the past and if it worked back then the question must be “why not?”

Anita Broad – Not for me…

Lin Dunn – There needs to be a blend or old and new to be consistently successful.. IMO

Danielle Sweetman – Have own style & mould it to fit team dynamic. Some oldschool coaches succeed, some no. But oldschool approach from athletes good.

Jools Murray – It’s important to learn from the past. Sometimes we can go too much one way & having old school keeps a reference

Debbie Ferguson – Always room.   Old/modern has their philosophy.In my career I had a mixture.They all worked 4 me.As an athlete I believed in my coaches. #trust  I am def in the middle.#Inclusivity for all. Some of the success of a lot of athletes come from both types. To each their own

Netball Coach – Being coached by ‘sergeant major’ style coaches when a Jr did nothing 4me as a player but  inspires me to be a much ‘better’ #coach ! #motivation #inspiration

Joey Peters – Very important topic to discuss and important coaches evolve with their team and environment.  I would go as far to say we need to be heading towards making as few as decisions as possible so that the athletes can take ownership of their learning and providing as least instruction as possible or showing their knowledge but rather designing sessions so the game becomes the teacher.nand creating a safe environment. The ‘submissive’ title is horrible, it would be more of a Facilitator or Learning Designer. Less coach focused and more player-centred.




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