A coach must develop his own philosophy. Throughout this book I have tried to explain a variety of methods for teaching a broad range of choices in both offence and defence. Coaches are invited to consider and test all ideas and develop their own priorities and how they instruct.
Coaching style can be roughly divided into three categories: authoritarian, democratic, advisor. There is no perfect style. Much depends on the personality of the players, the coach and the duration of the coaching program. A coach needs to be able to manipulate styles to meet the situation. The length of the training period will affect his style. If training is over a long period it is probably desirable that each player participates in developing his own programme. But in the short term a more authoritarian style may be more suitable.
When assessing performance, the coach should recognise that all parameters must change when considering gender, physique, experience and personality. He should also take into account the personality differences between him and his players and their motivation. One of the essentials for successful coaching is skill in communication and teaching.
Some useful points to remember are:
Always emphasise the correct moves. Don’t show your players how not to do a skill.
Demonstrate the correct move first to give your players a mental picture.
Progress gradually from the elementary to the more complicated skills.
Demonstrate at normal speed in order to show the proper feeling for timing.
Reduce instruction items to two or three in any demonstration so players will remember them more easily and have less chance of getting confused. Very young players should only be shown one or two skills at a time.
Make sure players understand one step before moving on to the next. Depending on the degree of difficulty you may have to give several demonstrations before the students participate.
Give feedback information after each test. For example, “That was good. You had your wrist well back and the follow through was complete. Next time get more power in the jump.” Encouragement is always much better than criticism. Although incorrect moves should not be ignored, minimise the faults and emphasise the good points