To be a coach, you have to coach, right?
Coaching isn't like filling a jug with water. Minds don't work by having information poured into them until they are full. For a start, jugs don't wonder if it's the right kind of water for their needs.
That's why one of the biggest challenges a coach faces is how to coach. You have to be highly selective about how much information to impart, when to give it and what method works best to get it to sink in.
It's no longer enough to stand at the back of the net commanding elbows up or front arms higher (but we all kind of knew it never was).
A simple message
Even volunteer coaches at clubs can gather huge amounts of information through video analysis and PitchVision now. It's up to the coach to collect and analyse that data so the player is not overburdened with raw information they can't use.
You may see several technical flaws in a player, flaws that are backed up by stats. Part of the art of coaching is to help that player get rid of those flaws without over analysis. If a player is thinking too much about where his head or foot is, he isn't thinking about playing the game anymore.
Instead, you focus on one flaw, set a simple drill to eliminate it and work on it until it's gone, then move on to the next one.
You have given less information, kept the message simple and got the point across
If simplicity is a common theme to all players, delivery changes all the time.
In other words, people learn in different ways and you need to adapt your approach to them.
Some will need to feel like they worked it out themselves, while others will be happy to be told. Some just need to see a demo and they get it, while others need to feel it working and do it with trial and error.
There are those who like detailed discussions and explanations and some who want to go off by themselves and do it.
So although your message should always be clear and simple, the way you say it (or show it) will be different every time.
How do you work out what works best? You could get the players you coach to do a test, or you could do it by trial and error.
The key is gather information as much as you can but adapt it to drip feed in what you want to the player to make them as good as possible.
Don't be afraid to leave stuff out, it's the sign of a confident coach.
image credit: matso