Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Coaching and Constructive Feedback

6417162 bytes; 3504 x 2336; The goal of great coaching is to guide, inspire and empower athletes to develop to their fullest potential.  Much of coaching depends on the ability of the coach to communicate criticism in a way that fosters trust and positive outcomes.  Providing constructive feedback can be one of the most challenging skills for coaches to master but when done properly can yield great results. Every athlete and person is different, and as a coach you should determine what approach works best with each individual.

Some tips for coaches to remember:
  • approach an athlete in a calm and non-threatening environment, ideally one on one
  • feedback needs to be honest, motivating and encouraging
  • first tell them what they are doing right and then move to the areas that need to be improved
  • emphasize that making the suggested changes will bring them closer to their goals
  • be specific and tell them what areas should be focused on and do one thing at a time
  • if the athlete continues to fail at the task set out for them, offer positive reinforcement 
  • never give up
Allowing people to fail can be very difficult for a coach but without getting past this point, athletes will never know how far they can push themselves for improvement. Giving an athlete permission to fail releases performance pressure, stops them from holding back and allows them to get past whatever they're afraid of.  This generally comes with the knowledge that it wasn't as bad as they had imagined and will help to build their confidence.

If you truly wish to move forward with your coaching skills you must be open to providing feedback constructively, which will allow you and your athlete to not only succeed with your goals but to have a great working relationship as well.

References from the SIRC Collection: 

1. Categorization, Performance Appraisals, and Self-Limiting Behavior: The Impact on Current and Future Performance. Journal Of Sport Management. October 2006;20(4):535-553.
2. COFFEE P, REES T. When the chips are down: Effects of attributional feedback on self-efficacy and task performance following initial and repeated failure. Journal Of Sports Sciences. February 2011;29(3):235-245.
3. Constructive Feedback and Coaching: Tips and Tools for Practice Observation. Interscholastic Athletic Administration. Spring2010 2010;36(3):30-31.
4. FEEDBACK METHODS THAT WORK. Swimming In Australia. September 2011;28(1):58.
5. Latinjak A, Torregrosa M, Renom J. Combining Self Talk and Performance Feedback: Their Effectiveness With Adult Tennis Players. Sport Psychologist. March 2011;25(1):18-31.
6. Mouratidis A, Vansteenkiste M, Lens W, Sideridis G. The Motivating Role of Positive Feedback in Sport and Physical Education: Evidence for a Motivational Model. Journal Of Sport & Exercise Psychology. April 2008;30(2):240-268.

No comments: