2 key principles for coaches
Coaches behave in a certain way because they believe it is a suitable and effective method to achieve what they want to achieve. For example, a coach may govern by fear in an effort to motivate their athletes. This may work in the short-term, but it is likely to cause issues in the long-term. Specifically in terms of skill development, coaches might restart a rep, or redo a play if athletes do not execute in the manner that they are expected to. See the video below for an example. While a coach did not tell these players specifically to redo the reps, this behaviour is likely driven ultimately from chasing the perfect execution, which trickles down from the top (i.e. coaches). I make this assumption because I have heard coaches advise players to "find the perfect rep* and copy that each time." As I stated in my previous posts on variability:
My thought process around coaching was repetition-based and action-focussed - I believed that in order for a player to get good at an action, they must repeat it. However, my thought process has very much changed - I now believe if a player wants to develop a skill, they must learn to adapt it.
*there is no such thing as perfect solutions, only functional ones - did the solution work in a given situation?
Focus here on the player on the far side of the net, to the right of the screen. The feed isn't where he wants it, so he catches the ball and throws it back to start again, missing out on an opportunity to be adaptable.
I believe everything in coaching stems from two beliefs: 1) failure is bad and 2) a coach's role is to solve problems for their players. I have written much about these two concepts previously, and this post will repeat many messages already shared (optimal challenge point, failure rate, adaptability, variability, skilled intentionality, exploration), but they are messages worth repeating in my opinion. Two things I believe coaches need to do:
1) Reappraise relationship with failure
If you look at any development session - this can be an undersage game or even a training session for