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Coaching – The Art Of Less Is More.

Comments (0) Posted in Practice by Phil Amos on January 28th, 2015

Effective coaches are always asking themselves “What can I do to help the athletes I coach progress more quickly? One solution to this is to design sessions that increase the amount Deliberate Practice.

Deliberate Practice is the type of practice you observe when your athletes are completely absorbed in what they are doing. Deliberate Practice is the type of practice where great increases in the speed of learning happen. Deliberate Practice is practice with the ‘concentration face’ on.

Concentration Face

To help the athletes we coach to put on their ‘concentration face’. We can do less:

• Less “This is happening”:  More “What is happening?”
• Less “Try this…”:  More “What could you do?”
• Less “Do this”:  More “You could do, X, Y or Z, which will be best for you?”
• Less grouping on ability:  More learning from each other in mixed ability groups.
• Less over challenge:  More optimal challenge.
• Less “Well done”:  More “Well done because…”
• Less session goals set:  More purpose.
• Less structure:  More creativity.
• Less about ability:  More about improvement.
• Less intervention:  More letting learning happen.

Less Thinking: More Doing.

When I was younger I played football. I remember a particular match where during the first half, I had played well, maybe the best I had ever played. I had been in the ‘zone’ – absorbed; my ‘concentration face’ had been on.

At half-time, our coach went around the team, with various points of advice for each player. His advice to me, “Whatever you are doing – keep doing it?” My second half was not as good.

Please leave a comment. What could my football coach have done less of? What could you do less of to help your learners learn more?