Do you coach your team enough?

If you have coached before, you sometimes had this feeling that whatever you do with your team it's not working. Kids are not listening, their results are not improving and team is losing games. To get the hold of the situation it is the natural reaction to try to get the control of your athletes. This means that you need to control the every aspect of the practice.

This is called the command-style of coaching. It dominated in the past, but it is very present today. It is used by less experienced beginner coaches, because it helps them conceal the lack of their own knowledge, or simply apply it by inertia ("My coach did it like this"). The characteristic of this style of coaching is that all decisions are made by the coach, and the athlete's role is to obey, follow his command, listen and learn. Athletes do not ask, do not participate in the decision-making process, and even discourage themselves from asking questions.

The command-style only at first glance may seem effective in the event that the winning of the head coach is an objective and if its authoritative nature does not compromise the motivation of athletes. It is precisely the risk of choking motivation that is the main disadvantage of this style.

Other flaws:

▶It's less efficient.

▶Chokes the motivation of athletes.

▶It reduces their pleasure and enjoyment.

▶It makes them uncertain, less motivated, unselfish.

▶It is not compatible with the basic principle: "Athlete is primary, victory is secondary".

Another troubling scenario that you can get into is over-coaching. While you might think that giving a lot of information to your athletes will help them, it can actually have an opposite effect. Your excessive input while the players are playing in such a way that the your input becomes debilitating to the player's ability to perform to the best of their ability and stifles their development. In short, the coach is playing instead of the player, making all of their decisions for them.

Too often, coaches (and parents) feel an undue pressure to win games and therefore over-coach the players. As a result, at game time, and during practice, there is a constant barrage of comments directed at the player, making it impossible for the players to enjoy themselves and express themselves in the pool.

The effects of over-coaching and command-style coaching are that players end up quitting. They do not want to subject themselves to this "hostile" environment. They rebel against the pressures and hyper supervision of the adults. If they do hang on, as they get older, they lack creativity in their play, or the ability to solve the games' problems by themselves. Thus, their development is retarded and they are no longer able to meet the demands of the game at the next level.

So, next time your player makes a mistake in the game don't take him out, lecture him and bench him. Let him figure it out on his own. This way you are creating players that can control the situation and win the games for you and for the team. Coach less. Because sometimes, less is more.