Selecting a coach for your child

Selecting a coach for your child

Jeff Mitchell – Community Coach Advisor – Sport Auckland / GACU

Parents are often confused by what they should look at in a potential coach. Is the best coach the one that wins the most? What about the coach that has played internationally? What is actually required to coach effectively? In this article I will discuss what parents should look for when assessing the suitability of a coach.  For this article we will focus on coaches of children and youth (up to mid-teens). In a future article I will discuss how coaches can develop their abilities so that they meet these criteria. Continue reading

Motivation – It’s all in your mindset

Motivation – It’s all in your mindset

Jeff Mitchell – Community Coach Advisor – Sport Auckland / GACU

Think about a time when you felt really motivated. When you were energised and couldn’t wait to tackle a project, or to get underway with something you wanted to achieve. Maybe you were coaching a new team, or wanting to put into action something you had learnt on a course or read in an article. How did you feel? What was the impact on how you acted? How did it help you to achieve?

Motivation is a critical component for player development. To build your understanding of motivation we will look at the direction of motivation, the sources of motivation, and the two mindsets that players can have regarding their ability. Following on from this we will look at your role as coach in fostering an appropriate motivational environment. Continue reading

Match day coaching

Match day coaching: Using an athlete-centred approach

Jeff Mitchell – Community Coach Advisor – Sport Auckland / GACU

The following is a pre-course reading for a workshop I deliver on Match Day Coaching.

Match day is all about winning, right? Not necessarily. Competition provides players with the opportunity to learn and develop, and should be an extension of their training. A truly effective coach – an athlete-centred coach – provides an environment that ensures players grow continuously, with every training session and every match. In this article we will look at what an athlete-centred coaching approach is and how you can continue to use it on match day. Continue reading

Taking charge of your coach development – Part 8

Part 8 – Video observation

Jeff Mitchell – Community Coach Advisor – Sport Auckland / GACU

This is the eighth article in a series of 13 on developing your coaching skills. For the full list of articles in the series see the articles page.

In Issue 7 I discussed how mentoring provides an outside view of your coaching. Another way of gaining an alternative view of how you coach is through having your delivery videoed. Coaches often think of video observation in terms of match analysis; it can be just as effective in analysing your coaching effectiveness.

This article will look at how you can video your own delivery in order to improve your effectiveness. I will discuss why you should use video observations, how they can be used, what to do with the information you collect, and how to use it to increase your coaching effectiveness. Continue reading

10 mistakes of a beginner coach – Part 2

Part 2 of 2

Jeff Mitchell – Community Coach Advisor – Sport Auckland / GACU

In Part 1 of this article I discussed five mistakes that I made in the early years of my coaching. In this second part I will discuss another five, and look at what we can learn from these about effective coaching. Mistakes are only bad if we don’t learn from them; learn from mine and be open to learning from your own. Continue reading

10 mistakes of a beginner coach – Part 1

Part 1 of 2

Jeff Mitchell – Community Coach Advisor – Sport Auckland / GACU

Making mistakes is an important part of developing as a coach. Which is good, because as a beginner coach I made a lot of them. However, mistakes are only good if we learn from them. As athlete-centred coaches we give our players the freedom to make mistakes, as we know that from these mistakes they will grow and become better players. As coaches it is important that we too learn from our mistakes.

To learn from our mistakes requires us to firstly acknowledge them, and to then look at what we can learn from them. It can be difficult to admit we are wrong, however, to continue to grow we need to embrace the mistakes that we make. In this two-part article I will discuss 10 mistakes that I made as a beginner coach, and through this examine some elements of effective coaching. Continue reading

Coaching the end of the season

Jeff Mitchell – Community Coach Advisor – Sport Auckland / GACU

Coaching a team through the final stages of a season can be tough. If winning the title is in your sights then it can be hard to keep your focus on player development and your process goals. If you are out of the running for the championship then just motivating your athletes to turn up and train hard can be a challenge. Towards the end of the season staleness can start to appear, as it becomes harder to keep trainings fresh and intense.

These are some of the challenges you face when coaching a team through the final few games of a season. To address these challenges you must find ways to motivate your athletes to keep training hard and trying to improve. To motivate your players you need to examine how you approach the final training sessions and games. Continue reading

Coaching an unfamiliar sport

Jeff Mitchell – Community Coach Advisor – Sport Auckland / GACU

Twice this week I have had coaches mention the idea of coaching a sport they have never played, including my good friend Mark Carter from the Ministry of Football. Beginner coaches often coach a sport they have never played, as this is how many parents first start coaching. But what would be the effect on an experienced coach if they were to take on a sport they had never played?

Though rare, there are examples of high-level coaches who never played the sport they coached. Cus D’Amato trained heavyweight boxing champions Muhammad Ali and Floyd Patterson, without ever having fought in the ring himself. For this article we will not be looking at coaching an unfamiliar sport at a high level. Instead, we will look at the effect that coaching an unfamiliar sport would have on an experienced coach. What are the benefits, and how would it help them to coach their main sport better? Continue reading