Showing posts from January, 2017

Teach technique, or teaching technique?

As always - I love a 'clever' blog title. Unfortunately with this one I think the cleverness completely obscures the meaning. What I mean is, what is more important, knowing the technique to teach an athlete, or having good teaching technique (and ability)? I've been in many situations where coaches have been very interested by technical information. When I say very interested, to me it seems borderline obsessive. On various posts and blogs featuring sport coaching questions, it seems the most passionate, and controversial topics, are on the minutiae of technique. It worries me that many think the answer to success in sport is knowing the perfect technique, rather than how you teach that technique. The following is a conversation with a group of coaching friends on this topic, names changed to protect the opinions. The question I sent was: What's more important, knowing the right technique, or knowing the right way to teach?  LAURA Hi. Both. It has to be

What About Competition?

It seems that 'Elite' competition is becoming 'important' at younger and younger ages in an attempt to make athletes more 'ready' for competition when they are older. Entires national competitions are now devoted to athletes who are still 10 years away from reaching senior ranks. And when there is a competition, well, you may as well try to win it, right? Actually wrong. And that's the problem. While athletes enjoy winning, coaches enjoy winning, parents enjoy winning and sponsors enjoy winning, trying to win everything along the way limits the development of athletes. Winning is a limitation. Its also great fun and satisfying and rewarding. It can be all these things. That is not to say competition is not important, but you need to consider the purpose. Not all opportunities are equal (or good). As athletes develop and become more and more successful they will have more and more opportunities, usually competitions in representative teams. Whe