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  • Writer's picturePortia

Coaching To Win

Saturday 1 December 2018, MERRITHEW(™)’s Jenna Hansen comes to Barbados. The certification training dissects general components of fitness; as well as various concepts and methodologies of athletic conditioning and performance training. During the 7hrs, the Course stresses the importance of having a comprehensive understanding of the sport for which you are preparing the athlete. There are no education prerequisites.

This Blogger will leave the curriculum to Jenna. I will turn my attention to that intimate psychological relationship between Trainer / Coach and athlete which is meant to result in winning …...better yet - several consecutive victories…… The Blogger sees how “cueing,” also covered during the Course, can contribute equally to the moulding of a highly sought after, world class athlete who earns millions; as to the extremely angry, frustrated young man / young mother who “had so much potential.”

Someone for whom l have the greatest of respect says, *“Winning is a process.” He is right.

The words and tone which Trainers and Athletics Coaches use are critical to this winning process.

Fully equip your charges for the rigours of the game, yes. Challenge them physically and mentally, by all means. Never, ever, verbally abuse your athletes.

Gone are the days when Trainers, Coaches and older athletes could get away with shouting and swearing at the young ones; repeatedly calling them ‘idiot’ and worse; negatively comparing them to others; and blatantly giving preferential treatment to a few. By the same token, the Administrator who undermines the progress of Trainers / Coaches needs to be replaced, not for the good of the game, but for the benefit of country and future generations.

Too many athletes come to us with raw talent and nothing else … emotional support from family, Church or school. They figure they must be good for something because they are chosen for the team or they get to represent the school / country, but only a fraction of them can clearly detail their strengths. An even smaller fraction can identify their areas of weakness.

Slowly, steadily and deliberately **educate athletes about basic anatomy and physiology as it relates to their sport; and watch them stand taller.

If you take the time to break a training movement into smaller parts and encourage them, they will believe that they can accomplish anything …..and they will….

Training and Coaching is five eighths psychology.

As a Trainer / Coach you must be prepared to first look within; recognize that you are the eternal athlete; face any buried negative emotions; and understand that professional progress and personal development are joined at the hip.

Even if you think they will forget you when they become millionaires, I challenge all Trainers and Coaches to remind your athletes that they are as talented as the big name professionals they look up to.

Point out that the time and sweat they put in to training is worthwhile …..and that you respect them for it …...even if no one supported you at that age.

Even when you look back and see how you were deliberately distracted, lovingly explain to your sportsperson how discipline is the ONLY investment.

Repeatedly highlight their strengths. Make it clear to them that they have everything they need to win …...and they will…...

If you are not prepared to develop yourself, stay away from Training / Coaching. If you are not willing to become an excellent judge of character solely to soothe, uplift, parent, counsel; lovingly challenge, empower and wish the very best for that young athlete you are working with, please do not hold your hand out for the money this month.

*Wendell Coppin, Teacher, Coach, Trainer, Assessor; Manager, Barbados Tridents Cricket

**I watched from a corner in her studio while Louise Woodvine of the Louise Woodvine Dance Academy (LWDA), Barbados, reinforced the location and function of quadriceps and hamstrings during a Progressive Ballet Technique class for young ladies, 13 - 15 years old. I was thrilled!

Definition of ‘Psychology’

‘Personal Growth and Development’

Psychologist Anywhere Anytime / Dr Vincent Berger

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