He tested the water with a club swimming event at the school run by some eager volunteers and junior coaches fueled by his passion for the sport of swimming, an essential part of the Western Australian way of life.
The event was such a success it made the volunteer parents and Adrian push forward an become an affiliated SWA club.
From here the rest is history we now have a qualified national swimmer needing his Coach, Adrian to attend vital training trip and Australian National Age Championships in Sydney and return to attend Junior State Championships. Adrian has volunteered to go unpaid to both important events to support all qualified athletes.
We need to funds for the following to assist Adrian
If you can assist us with our cause I welcome any donations.
WHAT MAKES Adrian such a GOOD COACH?
The very best coaches GET THEIR ATHLETES TO BELIEVE in themselves
Good coaches inspire their players to do more than they think they can. In fact, all good teachers do this. They get their students to entertain possibilities that stretch the limits of their beliefs. Part of this involves building the athlete up rather than knocking him down. Good coaches always build self-esteem rather than undermine it. This self-esteem building is not a gimmick nor is it done artificially. In other words, the coach doesn’t praise a mediocre effort. He/she simply makes it a practice to catch his/her athletes doing things RIGHT. The good coach doesn’t get caught up in playing head games that leave the athlete questioning his/her abilities.
Great coaches are GREAT LIFE TEACHERS – a good coach understands that what he/she is teaching goes far beyond the X’s & O’s. This kind of coach does not just teach the skills, technique and strategy within the narrow confines of the sport. Instead he/she looks for opportunities where the more important life lessons can be taught such as mastering hardship, handling and rebounding from failures and setbacks, trusting your teammates, sacrificing individual needs for the benefit of the group, emotionally dealing with winning and losing, good sportsmanship, fair play, honesty, integrity, etc.
The best coaches KEEP THE GAME IN PERSPECTIVE – they do not get distracted by how big any one game is in relation to their job as a teacher. Similarly, they understand that sports are just games and are merely a vehicle to teach their charges other, more important life lessons. They understand that what they teach and how they teach it will have an impact on the student that goes far beyond the sport.
Great coaches UNDERSTAND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN THEIR ATHLETES – the best coaches have a basic understanding that each athlete on their team is different in attitude, personality, response-ability, sensitivity and how they handle criticism and adversity. These coaches take the time to get to know each athlete’s individual differences and styles. They then hand-tailor what they say to, and how they treat this athlete to achieve maximum coaching effectiveness. They know that while one athlete may respond well to a hard edge and raised voice, this approach may totally shut another one down.
The best coaches COACH THE PERSON, NOT JUST THE ATHLETE – really effective coaches take the time to get to know the athlete as a person. They take an interest in the athlete’s life out of the pool, off the field, court or track. They don't see personal, academic or social problems as a distraction to the job of coaching. They view “outside problems” as an opportunity to further build a relationship with the athlete. This kind of caring is never lost on the athlete. Coaches who take an interest in the athlete’s total life are more trusted and respected than those who don’t. As a result, coaches who really care about the athlete as a person find that their athletes are more motivated and work harder. You can’t ever separate the athlete as a performer from who he/she is as a person.
The best coaches are FLEXIBLE –they approach their teaching by continuously looking for a better way to reach each athlete. When an athlete struggles to learn something, the better coaches do not look at this as a “learning disability” and blame the athlete for their incompetence. Instead they approach it as a “teaching opportunity” and therefore change how they are presenting the material to that athlete. If one approach doesn’t work, then they try another until they figure out the best way to reach that particular athlete. Just because that athlete may not be responding to your coaching does not mean that he/she has an attitude or commitment problem. Coaches who are rigid, who continually adopt the attitude that “it’s my way or the highway” are far less effective than those coaches who have mastered the fine art of being flexible. Understand here that flexibility does NOT mean being wishy-washy. You can be flexible and strong at the same time.
Great coaches are GREAT COMMUNICATORS - they understand that communication is a two-way street and involves a back and forth between coach and athlete. Bad coaches think that communication is a one-way street. You talk, and the athletes listen. Instead, effective communication entails that you as a coach carefully listen to what your athletes are saying. When your athletes talk you must BE QUIET INSIDE SO THAT YOU CAN LISTEN. Unless you carefully listen to them when they talk then you won’t have a clue as to what your athletes are really saying or how to best help them. Far too many coaches are too busy countering in their head what their athletes are saying to actually hear them. If you can’t learn how to listen, then you will never truly be effective in reaching your players.
Good coaches TAKE THE TIME TO LISTEN TO AND EDUCATE THEIR ATHLETES’ PARENTS – they make it a regular practice to communicate with the parents and educate them about the sport and the role that they need to play on the team. Your success as a coach often depends upon getting parents to work with you, not against you. The only way to make this happen is if you take the time to talk to and train your parents. This means that you must learn to listen to their concerns and questions. Take a proactive role with them. Do NOT wait for a problem or crisis before you decide that it’s time to actually approach your parents. Do so right from the beginning and do it often. Let them know about their support role on the team. Help them understand that their job is NOT to motivate or coach their child. Educate them about the sport and what it takes to excel. Explain your philosophy about competition and playing time. Be open to feedback in a non-defensive manner.
Great coaches CONTINUALLY CHALLENGE THEIR ATHLETES TO DO BETTER AND PUSH THEIR LIMITS – they inspire their athletes to believe in themselves is by continually putting them in situations which challenge their limiting beliefs. They don't allow their players to just get by with the status quo. They do this by pushing their athletes outside of their comfort zone, physically, mentally and emotionally, and then helping them discover that, in fact, they can do better than they first believed they could. They teach the “GET COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE principle,” which states that the only way to grow physically and emotionally is to constantly challenge yourself to do things that aren’t easy. In this way they refuse to tolerate mediocrity in effort, attitude, technique, training or performance.
The best coaches CONTINUALLY CHALLENGE THEMSELVES – they continually model the attitudes and behaviours that they want their players to adopt. They maintain a “beginner’s mind” when it comes to their professional development. They understand that regardless of how much success they may have had in the past doing things their own way, they can always learn new and better ways. In this way these coaches continually step out of their comfort zone as “experts” and put themselves in the more uncomfortable position as “beginner and learner.” Because these coaches “walk the talk” and demand from their athletes exactly what they demand from themselves, their athletes are far more motivated to meet the coach’s higher expectations.
Very best coaches are PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT THEY DO – these coaches know that passion (love) is a high-test fuel that will power you over obstacles, beyond setbacks and through frustration until you achieve success. Their passion is infectious, motivational and inspiring.
Good coaches are EMPATHIC AND TUNED INTO THE FEELINGS OF THEIR SWIIMMERS - they have the ability to communicate to their athletes that they truly understand them. When you are empathic you leave your athlete feeling that you as his/her coach deeply understands. This goes a long way in building athlete loyalty, self-esteem and motivation. Keep in mind that being empathic doesn’t necessarily mean that you are an emotional pushover. You can have the ability to understand where your swimmer is coming from and still make the coaching decisions that you feel are necessary. Coaches who lack the ability or don’t take the time to tune into the emotions of their athletes because they mistakenly believe that “all this emotional crap” is a total waste, end up inadvertently undermining their best coaching efforts.
The best coaches MAKE THE SPORT FUN FOR THEIR ATHLETES – they realise that sports are just games, and games are meant to be fun. They find creative ways to integrate this fun into what they do over the course of the season, on a daily basis in practice and during competitions. When an athlete is enjoying him/herself, that athlete is loose and relaxed. Since loose and relaxed are two of the most crucial ingredients to peak performance, it is in your best interests as a coach to find innovative ways to keep your athletes smiling.
- Lynda Beales
- Campbell McKay
- Jane Broadhurst
- Lily Hearn
- Mary Ashe-Winton
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