Challenging behaviour and it’s effect/ my response as a coach.
Today I was on the receiving end of challenging behaviour. It was the individuals way of telling me they didn’t feel comfortable with the situation they were in. Because it was a behaviour and as a direct response of something I asked that person to do it left me questioning myself. As a coach I always try to be the best I can be and when it seems I fall short of that standard for whatever reason I start to doubt myself; did I ask too much of them? Did I move a skill forward before they were ready? Was my support of that skill incompetent, therefore leaving that person feeling unsafe? Is progressing a skill what that individual needs or wants?!
I think sometimes as coaches we can sometimes lose sight of a participants reason for taking part and allow ourselves to make decisions for them. Are we doing things for the right reasons? Have we become so preoccupied with the big picture or long term goal that we’ve lost sight of the individual and what they want.
Thanks a blog is so full of questions I guess it does show exactly where I am in the thought process here- I’ve not yet made my mind up about the scenario today and I think it needs a) further thought from me but also b) another perspective. I’m going to speak to the participants old coach and find out how they used this progression and see if they can shine some light on the matter and help me to feel better and more confident about what I do going forward. My personal goal is to prevent any further behaviours as to me this is a clear indication by the individual that we’ve not quite met their needs at the time. If the reason for that turns out to be me failing at the support, then I’ll have to rethink whether I should be doing that progression. If I picked the wrong day/ time to use the progression then I think I need to get to know the participant better and pay more attention to them and less attention to what progress I want to see out of a session. Ultimately the #lessonlearned here is that it’s really important as coaches that we always have the individuals needs front and centre of our mind and place them ahead of our own and ahead of any of our goals. I don’t think there’s ever a time when the goal for the individual comes before their present needs.
There was another situation that occurred recently that I felt bad about and have already vowed to change, and that is when another coach and I became too involved in a discussion for our own benefit during a session; so much so that the client we were working with received very little feedback or engagement from either of us. That wasn’t fair on them, so I’ve already made a mental note to stay client focussed and always ensure that the client’s needs come first.
I hope this is at least food for thought, and relatable to other aspects of coaching and life despite perhaps not offering much of a solution! If you have any suggestions let me know in the comments below! In the meantime…
On the evening or Supporting Sunday and ahead of one of the busiest competitive couple of months I thought I’d lay out a few suggestions about how Coaches, Parents and Athletes can set a good example at competitions!
Applaud teammates and other athletes who do well.
Respect other teams and individuals.
Respect the judges’ decisions.
Applaud other team’s successes
Be aggressive or abuse the opposition.
Vocalise negativity or disappointment.
Question the judges marks or decisions.
Applaud a good performance, whether it’s your athlete or not.
Give encouragement and positive feedback on the competition floor, especially between routines.
Manage team and individual expectations.
Manage your own club’s parents and athletes!
Shout instructions during a performance, practice or warm up.
Instruct athletes how to do their routine.
Give negative reactions to a judge’s decision or mark.
Applaud for all athletes, especially the ones who step back up after a fall- they’re the ones that need the most encouragement of all.
Applaud all the team placings, not just your own teams success.
Encourage your athletes to be pleased, whatever the result.
Shout loudly and interfere with athletes’ performances.
Instruct coaches, athletes or officials on what they should be doing – it’s not your job!
Give negative reactions to the judges scores, accept their decision.
Speak badly of other athletes regardless of your thoughts on their performance, if you’re supporting someone else, your opinion is biased and unwarranted.
Do you ever feel like someone doesn’t really ‘know’ you? Or more specifically, that they only know a small piece of your personality? I recently had some nice stuff said about me, (I don’t wanna brag, but if you’ve just ‘got’ to know, maybe I’ll share it sometime…) When sharing this with someone pretty darned close to me, I got the aforementioned blog title as a response. Gee thanks. I’ll be honest and admit that I was kinda surprised at the reaction, and a little hurt.
Like I would ever play golf?
I know I’m patient, and some people see that, and yet other people who really should know me better apparently never see it. Maybe that’s a character flaw and I should work on being more patient with the people closest – people who I know and love. Speaking of character flaws (tangent alert, skip following paragraph if not interested)…
I was wondering how you all feel about criticism – the constructive sort. I know that psychologically speaking any form of criticism isn’t good for relationships and that people generally don’t react well to it, but I do feel as though I could help a less experienced coach if I’d give them some feedback – just one specific thing I noticed they don’t do which might help their ability to communicate with some of the children they work with on a daily basis…
I’d like to thank the following people who have inspired this post: