Coaching is in its most dynamic era as coaches’ work with an increasingly diverse population and face heightening demands from their athletes and the general public.
There are broader aims, higher expectations, and more defined roles. There is access to greater information and visibility to a larger community in this digital age. All these factors make coaching both more exciting and taxing than ever before. The International Council for Coaching Excellence has established a framework of six (6) primary functions of a coach that will help to fulfill the core purpose of guiding development and improvement
Although one of the main roles of a coach is evaluating training programs and sessions, coaches must also support the development and education of other coaches.
Recent studies have shown that novice coaches are ill prepared in the following areas:
Managing and resolving conflict
Coaches can no longer depend upon their love of the sport to carry them through the complicated maze that is todays coaching arena. Therefore, coaches must develop or have available a plethora of skills to meet the needs of the athletes who they aspire to service. These include:
Knowing how to effectively communicate with the athletes
Understanding the learning process and training principles
Understanding and implementing the appropriate training methods
Understand the various coaching styles
Advise athletes on safety
Understand the causes and recognize the symptoms of over-reaching and over-training
Understand how to reduce the chance of injury for your athletes
Understand individual differences between athletes
Assist athletes to develop new skills
One of the KEY elements to being a successful coach is to understand HOW ATHLETES LEARN.
The main reason USA Weightlifting promotes the Top/Down, Part/Whole Progressive approach to instructing the lifts is because the remediation of instruction is built into the training. Another item of importance is to understand that poor habits learned early are almost irreversible and that the pursuit of proper technique is paramount in all aspects of training.
Finally how does a coach individualize and differentiate training in a group setting? By following the above listed Athletes Quadrant and the Top/Down Method the coach selects the exercises, sets, reps and weight that allow for the individual athlete to be successful during training. An example of the use of the Athlete Quadrant is as follows:
Your athletes have a "Snatch" training session. However, where the athlete is in the Quadrant will determine the derivative of the Snatch based upon their individual progress. Novice athletes, which would be more likely in Quadrant A, would be performing Power Snatches from the Power Position while experienced athletes (Quadrants C and D) would be performing Power Snatch from the platform plus and Overhead Squat or competition snatches. The coach evaluates the quadrant and selects the differentiated training.