The role of the coach is to develop people, so they perform at a higher level. To be a good coach one has to recognise and act upon the development opportunities. The use of the words “coach” and “trainee” are most common in the sports world and there are many similarities. Not the least of these should be the desire to produce a WINNING TEAM.
- Develop skills through knowledge and practise.
- Learn to analyse the components of particular skills and techniques to assist the learner (player).
- Present challenging situations.
- Identify problems and weaknesses to be remedied.
- Build strengths and talents.
We might describe coaching as:
“The process by the coach, through a planned approach, to enable an individual to perform a task better”.
Establishing an atmosphere of development
Making people aware of how they are doing
Being aware of any situation that can be used as an opportunity to learn
Coaching is not:
Inspecting the work of others and telling them to “do better”
Fatherly “passing on” of one’s experience
Telling people what to do and throwing in a short lecture
Coaching does not necessarily include structural training. It also involves one-to-one advice and explanation. Structured training on the other hand usually involves the coaching of a group on specific subjects.
The two terms/processes are tightly intertwined and there is little to actually differentiate the two, they are mutually dependent. Coaching differs from training in that it does not lend itself to a strict formula that is applicable over a wide range of situations. Success in coaching depends on the flexibility of the coach in recognising the style of approach necessary on an individual basis. Nevertheless, to be successful the coach must make a planned and purposeful approach to the assignment.
Method of Coaching
Our approach is to employ the Six Phases to Coaching
- Stage One Pre-approach preparation, collecting as much background information as possible
- Stage Two Identify areas for improvement. Establish changes in knowledge, attitude, skills and habits that need to be achieved.
- Stage Three Action planning. Make a plan, which includes objectives, targets, timing and tactics.
- Stage Four The assignment. Give the coaching required.
- Stage Five Let the trainee put the skills to use.
- Stage Six Agree a method of monitoring progress (e.g. punctuality, standard of cleanliness, reporting) and give feedback in a positive form. We use the “sandwich” method.
There is no guaranteed path to developing people. It is reasonable to suggest however, that if anything is to get done at all, then some form of coaching must take place. In sport and in the work environment, no matter how skilled the coach or trainer the real test is the performance of the trainee.