You are currently browsing the SJAC Blog blog archives for August, 2015.

Two Conversations

Comments (0) Posted in Learning by Phil Amos on August 24th, 2015

Two Conversations

I was talking with my mother-in-law, trying to get a point across about coaching when suddenly she interrupted me, “Do you know what I am hearing? Blahdy, blahdy, blah.” She laughed…lots… and wandered off.

It was funny, but also reminded me about what we could term, ‘Two Conversations’. One of the conversations is the conversation the coach wants to have with their learner. The other conversation is the conversation the learner is already having inside their own head.

The problem with ‘Two Conversations’ is that often they are different.

An example of this might be the coach wanting to talk about technique whilst the athlete is thinking about and wanting to talk about performance.

Our coach might say, “Try to get your knee to this position”. Here the coach’s focus is on technique. Our athlete might already be thinking, “That throw wasn’t as far as last time”. Here the athlete’s focus is on performance. Two conflicting conversations – interference.

Effective coaching is often about minimising interference.

Performance = Potential – Interference.
(Tim Gallwey –

‘Two Conversations’ is interference.

If we want to help our learner maximise their learning we as coaches need to help minimise interference, we need to have ‘One Conversation’ -the conversation that our learner is already having.