T Nation

#1 Priority for a Coach

I asked this in the “Calling All Athletes” thread, but it was buried in the archives quickly. So, I’ll give it a thread of its own.

What do you think is the single most important thing a coach can do to improve performance?

I’ll give my answer later tonight once I’ve heard what you all think.

hmmm I’d say maybe a hunger for continuing education, always reading, always observing other coaches and resources to improve your performance and the performance of your athlete. Also learning all forms of conditioning, pre-hab,re-hab,strength,weight loss, hypertrohpy, accleration,speed,nutrition

The teaching of values, like:

honesty
finishing what you start
keeping it simple

Whose performance?

Tucker

Consistency

What a great question Eric. I’ll throw in my .02 for whatever it’s worth.

In my mind everything starts with the objective. When a new client sits down with me for the first time, my first question is always “How can I help you today?”

After I hear the client describe his situation in his/her own words, I’ll help clarify a specific objective, and then we’ll create a vision statement, which we both sign off on.

Once this has been completed, we then devise and implement a stragety. But again, clarify your objective…I can’t stress this enough!

[quote]Eric Cressey wrote:
I asked this in the “Calling All Athletes” thread, but it was buried in the archives quickly. So, I’ll give it a thread of its own.

What do you think is the single most important thing a coach can do to improve performance?

I’ll give my answer later tonight once I’ve heard what you all think.[/quote]

[quote]tucker2024 wrote:
Whose performance?

Tucker[/quote]

His/her athletes.

To keep up to date on new training/nutrition methodologies. To constantly examine what (s)he is doing. And to continually strive to improve his/her training methods.

THEN, to use these to improve the athletes the trainer works with.

Just a thought (or a few…)

TB

[quote]Eric Cressey wrote:
tucker2024 wrote:
Whose performance?

Tucker

His/her athletes.[/quote]

I realize that the original message asked for “the one” most important thing…but I am a moron, so here are two…

1 - Educate them

2 - Simplify everything

  • KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)

Great thread,
Tucker

Motivate them!

If we’re talking performance coaches, I would say keeping your athletes healthy. They can’t train or compete if they’re injured!

Stay strong
MR

Great stuff so far, guys. I’m thinking a little more specific, though. What’s a prerequisite to optimal performance?

[quote]bigpump23 wrote:
to improve your performance and the performance of your athlete. [/quote]

I liked this one, especially; you have to practice what you preach. If you aren’t under the bar or doing something else comparable, you’ll never be able to relate to your athletes.

[quote]Mike Robertson wrote:
If we’re talking performance coaches, I would say keeping your athletes healthy. They can’t train or compete if they’re injured!

Stay strong
MR[/quote]

You know me too well, Mike! IMO, the single-most important aspect of programming is prehab; you can’t perform if you’re injured.

Some numbers for you…

Last fall, our soccer team (which won the Big East tournament) had 2,268 player “exposures” from preseason to the last game of the NCAA tournament. An exposure was defined as a practice, game, or lifting session (times the number of players). Now, of these 2,268 exposures, we only had 38 missed sessions on a team of 28 guys as a result of injury of some sort. As such, we had a 1.7% injury rate.

Now, one would assume that if we exclude the six true freshmen who have never been involved in organized weight-training prior to the season, that we would reduce our injury rate by about 21%. Not so. Take these six guys out, and the injury rate drops by roughly one-half (to 0.88%). I suspect that if you carried this out even further, you’d see that juniors and seniors had virtually no injuries in a sport that is notorious for stubborn, minor injuries.

Food for thought…

Damn bro, didn’t mean to steal your thunder!

Here’s a question for you though; what specific things did you all do to keep them that healthy? Smart programming? Recovery modalities? I’m interested to hear what all you can do in a big-time NCAA D1 school w/regards to regeneration.

Stay strong
MR

[quote]Eric Cressey wrote:
Mike Robertson wrote:
If we’re talking performance coaches, I would say keeping your athletes healthy. They can’t train or compete if they’re injured!

Stay strong
MR

You know me too well, Mike! IMO, the single-most important aspect of programming is prehab; you can’t perform if you’re injured.

Some numbers for you…

Last fall, our soccer team (which won the Big East tournament) had 2,268 player “exposures” from preseason to the last game of the NCAA tournament. An exposure was defined as a practice, game, or lifting session (times the number of players). Now, of these 2,268 exposures, we only had 38 missed sessions on a team of 28 guys as a result of injury of some sort. As such, we had a 1.7% injury rate.

Now, one would assume that if we exclude the six true freshmen who have never been involved in organized weight-training prior to the season, that we would reduce our injury rate by about 21%. Not so. Take these six guys out, and the injury rate drops by roughly one-half (to 0.88%). I suspect that if you carried this out even further, you’d see that juniors and seniors had virtually no injuries in a sport that is notorious for stubborn, minor injuries.

Food for thought…[/quote]

[quote]Eric Cressey wrote:
Great stuff so far, guys. I’m thinking a little more specific, though. What’s a prerequisite to optimal performance?[/quote]

Being alive.

Ok, Ok, bad joke I know. The most important thing is athlete drive. If the athlete isn’t driven then nothing else matters.

If we assume for this discussion that the athlete has the necessary drive and we take it from simply a coaches angle, then I would say the coach needs to understand the athlete. What I mean is, the coach needs to know exactly how the athlete responds to the different training the coach will give him. There is no one perfect answer, just a different perfect answer for every athlete.

IMO coaches should work on reducing the overall dependency their athletes have. Many athletes are completely lost without their coach. This may be good for $$$ but if the athlete is very dependent on the coach you could argue that the athlete truely doesn’t understand why he is doing what he is doing.

If an athlete knows how each aspect of his/her training is working on they are more likely to but a focused and solid effort into it. This applies to nutrition too. If you tell someone to take fish oil caps they are less likely to take it vs explaining to them the numerous health benefits of fish oil caps.

[quote]TriGWU wrote:
IMO coaches should work on reducing the overall dependency their athletes have. Many athletes are completely lost without their coach. This may be good for $$$ but if the athlete is very dependent on the coach you could argue that the athlete truely doesn’t understand why he is doing what he is doing.

If an athlete knows how each aspect of his/her training is working on they are more likely to but a focused and solid effort into it. This applies to nutrition too. If you tell someone to take fish oil caps they are less likely to take it vs explaining to them the numerous health benefits of fish oil caps. [/quote]

i wonder about this. IMO, part of the role of coach is to take the burden of coaching off the athlete. so, at what point is it necessary for the athlete to know why he’s doing what he’s doing; and at what point does he not need to know anything because he trusts his coach?

whenever i think of a successful coach/athlete relationship i think of charlie francis and ben johnson. i wonder how much of what charlie had ben do that ben understood why he was doing it.

Identify an athlete or team’s weakest area(s). Improving the biggest weakness will lead to the greatest overall improvement. Of course, this is as part of an overall training strategy, but the weakness recieves priority in that strategy.

I think recovery is important. More is not necessarily bettter. Don’t run us into the ground.

-Get Lifted