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8 Week Coaching Challenge - Week 8

18th September 2014

Looking at your coaching through someone else’s eyes…

For whatever reason, the whole ‘reality TV’ seems to leave me cold, I have, however, seen enough to wonder about our ability to give those closest to us reliable feedback.

Watching an early round of one of the talent shows (e.g. Idol, So you think you can dance, etc.) it’s amazing to see the absolute shocked expressions of some truly untalented individual receive their first dose of ‘reality’.

It’s hard not to wonder how many of the contestants have managed to go through their lives thinking they were adequately skilled without someone pulling them up and giving them the a bout of the truth.

Of course, receiving honest, open and direct feedback can be one of the most confronting experiences of our lives (ask those TV show contestants).

It can also be a huge step in the right direction of being a better coach.

As an interesting aside, coaches are quick to evaluate an athlete based on some physical tests, their performance in competition or by some other means.

This is seen as an integral part of coaching – see where the athlete is, plan some interventions, implement them and re-evaluate at a later date.

Yet we don’t like to shine the spotlight on ourselves, see what we need to improve and go about improving those inadequacies.

This needs to change.

Coaching Challenge 8: Invite a Coach to Evaluate You

Yip, this probably going to be the toughest Coach Challenge so far. And yip, you’re going to have to swallow your ego and your pride.

Arguably, it might even be your most important Challenge too.

To soften the blow (slightly), invite a coach who is from outside your immediate environment – another club? Another sport? Another age group?

The further from your environment the coach is, the easier it might be to take the feedback onboard.

Remember, the coach is evaluating your ‘coaching ability’ not your technical and tactical knowledge.

Some things they should be looking for:

  • Your ability to connect the new information you’re presenting to information you’ve already covered.
  • The flow of the session – does each part of training build from the previous section?
  • Your organisation – is all the equipment ready to go, in the correct place, or is there too much down time trying to sort it out during the session?
  • How are you the tracking athlete’s improvement?
  • Are your athletes aware of what they need to improve?
  • Your talk to action ratio.

These are just a few of the questions they might use (have a look at the previous challenges for more ideas).


After the session it’s time for that feedback. And it’s not going to be easy – coaching is deeply personal.

Be strong. No arguments. Just take it on the chin.

And if it doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable or annoyed, your evaluator is probably being too nice and you’re going to have to repeat the process.

Big thanks to PROPELPERFORM for this week's challenge!

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