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What do athletes want from their coaches?
Sportscoach UK recently carried out some research on what athletes thought their coaches could do even better, and it was interesting reading!
Not surprisingly, the four areas that were highlighted as ‘could do better’ were areas that aren’t as well covered in traditional coach education courses.
Now we know that coaching is a Passion. A Vocation. A ‘for the love of …’ and we also know that many coaches are often doing a great job under sometimes tricky situations … (pushy parents … being sued (yes, really!) … verbal and physical abuse … as well as praise … satisfaction … personal pride) so it’s not surprising that a good coach wants to be the best they can be.
Based on these findings, it’s great that ‘being approachable’ was top of the pile, as this is a key aspect of being emotionally intelligent (EI), but other indicators of EI ‘ They are good at explaining …’, ‘they create the right environment … ‘; they keep me motivated and build my confidence’ were the four areas identified as ones to improve on.
So how do coaches become more ‘Emotionally Intelligent’ and get this learning if it’s not part of their coaching qualifications?
By adding additional CPD training to the norm.
A good starting point is to pay attention to what other people are doing and saying, rather than being focused on ‘have we got everything sorted and ready to go’ (i.e. being more focused on the task rather than on people). If you’re good with ‘sensory acuity’, then you’ll be able to pick up how your athletes and colleagues respond to you and, in turn, how you respond back to them. (For more on this area, see our earlier article ‘What is Emotional Intelligence?‘)
This is probably one of the reasons that our NLP Sport Practitioner is a recommended CPD programme and is attended by sports such as cricket, rugby, football and a multitude of Olympic Sports … from grassroots to elite performance. In fact, any sport where coaching is essential (are there any that aren’t?) then adding Sport Specific NLP to the Coaching Toolbox is a must if we’re to address the four areas identified by Sportscoach UK as needing attention.