Today few tips from very good coach, about how to be better coach.
Allistair McCaw has trained some of the world's best athletes including four world number 1's, five World Champions, nine Grand Slam winners, two PGA Tour winners & six Olympians. He has trained the world number one player Dinara Safina, 2x Grand Slam Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, as well as the world number one & two squash players, Nicol David & Natalie Grinham.
And there are few "powerful tips" from him:
1. Never stop learning
Every single day I spend at least 45 minutes to an hour reading and researching anything coaching or training related. I also like to observe how other coaches carry themselves and speak to people. One of the great things about this profession is that you are never too old or knowledgeable to learn. The thing is to never stop learning and challenging yourself to improve. Remember that in order to make our athletes even better, we too need to become even better coaches.
2. Talk to experienced coaches
It’s not enough to only observe great coaches in action, so if you have experienced coaches around you who inspire you, talk to them. Pick their brains about the technical and mental aspects of coaching. You will find that great coaches are more than willing to share their knowledge. Often they will tell you stories about when they first started and these stories will be of great comfort. The great ones were also once a little frightened and intimidated. They have also made mistakes along the way and still do.
My advice is that you hang out with people who simply make you better.
3. Lead by example.
I was fortunate enough to have a good sporting career and competed in five World Championships in the sport of Duathlon. But you don’t need to be a world class athlete to be a great coach. However, I do believe that you should look the part, meaning partaking in a sporting activity and keeping yourself in good shape. I am a firm believer in the ‘Practice what you preach’ theory. I also ask my athletes and clients to step outside of their comfort zone and confront places of fear. In other words - take some risks, because if I’m not living by that, why should they trust me?
One last thing on this subject, take pride in your appearance and look professional.
4. Experience is your greatest teacher
I’ve been a coach and trainer for almost 20 years now. I started working as a fitness trainer whilst still in school to help pay my Triathlon habit. Over those years I studied as many subjects as I could and completed numerous certifications related to the industry. However, the place I’ve learnt the most is on the field, court, track and in the gym. You see, nothing beats the real raw time actually spent teaching and coaching. There’s no book or class that can prepare you for the reality of day-today coaching. Gain experiences. Make mistakes. Learn from failure. We all fail. Those who are ultimately successful are those who learn from their failures and do not repeat them.
5. Evaluate yourself from time to time.
Even though I’ve been a coach for a while now, I still need to stay on top of things and make sure I’m giving my athletes the very best they deserve. A good self-evaluation can sometimes be hard, but is a fast track to becoming even better. The more comfortable you get with being uncomfortable and putting yourself on the spot, the more you will learn.
Sometimes get another person to sit in on one of your lessons and afterwards give you specific feedback. Things like the way you brought across your message and was it clearly understood? Was the training challenging enough for the athlete or athletes? Was there maybe an ‘information overload & toO much talking? etc..
6. Become an even better motivator.
If there is one thing I can tell you all great coaches have, it’s this: They know how to motivate and get the best from their athlete/s. Sometimes, just some encouragement and positive words can make an athletes performance go from average to exceptional.
If you want to get more from your athlete/s, find out what motivates them and what makes them tick. When you tap into this, you will discover that you are more than half way there.
On closing, the road to mastery is a long and humble one, but it’s one that is rewarding to no end. My journey so far has been more than I had ever expected and It’s one I’m happy to be on. I have learnt that patience is huge part of the journey and I can only hope that someday, years down the road, while continuing a never-ending quest to learn, I will have motivated as many athletes, coaches and anyone for that matter, who seek to get the very best from themselves.