Sport Coaching in Practice
Articles and Videos
Here is a collection of articles focused on the practical application of coaching. Covering a varied topic mix, they all relate to useful and relevant coaching issues, coaches face day in, day out. You may find our sections for our most recent articles, resources and materials, latest newsletters, or 5 Minutes with Bo Hanson video series valuable too.
When we look at leaders in any endeavor, we often see their success critically defined by their leadership philosophy, and when it comes to sport coaches it is exactly the same. Having a defined coaching philosophy is key to effective coaching (and leadership), but the process of developing and understanding your own philosophy is often sidelined. When your team relies on your performance as a coach as much as they do on technical execution for achieving a winning outcome, this process is a priority.
As we all know, our personality impacts our behavior and as such has a direct impact on our coaching style. However, unlike personality, which is relatively stable, a coach’s style is a preferred pattern of behavior and as such it can be changed or adapted depending on the situation. Most of all though, a coach’s style can be changed or adapted if they are aware of their style preference and what style will give them the results they need.
Coaches are always evaluating performance, it’s a critical part of their role in order to be successful. Whether it be through assessing the scoreboard results of their team, individual athletes’ statistics, or even through the lens of their team’s culture. However, when it comes to evaluating their own performances, who should coaches turn to when they are looking to improve their own efficacy and skills?
Dedicated to his profession, four-time Olympic coach, now Program Director, Dr. Cam Kiosoglous focuses his commitment to build the depth of alignment between coaching research and coaching in practice through Drexel University’s Master of Science in Sport Coaching Leadership.
Can a coach coach themself? It’s an interesting question to ponder. While the role of a coach is to constantly work with their athletes and team to develop and improve, and we know that coaches by nature and role can be excellent at developing others, what about when developing themselves?
Creating and maintaining an effective team culture is critical to sustained success. So, if we define culture simply as ‘the way we behave around here’, we need to determine what is acceptable and what is not? But then as a coach, how do you sustain a culture or how do you deal with an athlete who acts in a way that opposes the culture you want?
Let me ask you the most important of coaching questions, “What style of coach are you?” As coaches we occupy a special, even privileged place in our athletes’ lives. On the surface, we are just a part of their athletic journey, but really, we often spend as much, if not more time with our athletes, than their family and close friends.
The skill of decision making is closely linked to problem solving. For some athletes, making the right decisions at the right time is a well-developed skill, whilst other athletes find this process more challenging. Like any critical skill, the key to developing an individual’s decision making is to practice. So, where should an athlete practice their decision making? The answer is in training.
Captain or leadership group, how can you determine what the right structure for your team is? Who should be appointed as the leader and, what exactly does the person in the leadership role do? These were some of the critical leadership questions we unpacked in our recent open webinar, ‘Choosing Captains and Leadership Development Within Your Team’.
“I rarely choose the easy route just because something might be hard.” It’s a simple and succinct statement of fact, but it also serves as a quick character portrait summing up Dr. Scott Douglas, a 2x NWBA Champion, 4x player for the U.S. Men’s World Cup Tennis Team, 3x Paralympian, coach, and Associate Professor at University of Northern Colorado.
Kinzee Salo, Teaching Specialist in Coaching at the University of Minnesota, and Assistant Men’s Tennis Coach at Gustavus Adolphus College, speaks to the philosophy of teaching coaching as a people management skill.
We recently interviewed Kinzee Salo for our article When Coaching Sport isn’t All About Coaching Sport and we found that she shared too many valuable insights to include in just one article. So, we’re sharing all her answers in an extended Q&A here.
Mental Performance Coach, Rick Sessinghaus, has coached long-time client Collin Morikawa, currently ranked #5 on the PGA tour, from talented junior to #1 World Amateur and on to professional status.
Research from the London Olympics revealed the defining difference between serially successful athletes and their competitors. And it might not be what you immediately think!
Got a spare couple of minutes on the way to training or the weekend match? Catch the conversation between Bo Hanson and Adam Haniver on The Boxing Coaches’ Podcast. What really makes this podcast worth listening to is the way that Adam, host of The Boxing Coaches’ Podcast, asks Bo questions that surface the connections between the mechanisms and the outcomes that drive performance.
On a daily basis, the Performance and Wellness Institute is buzzing with athletes practicing their verticals, leaping between stations, pushing their strength towards numbers that were previously unimaginable, while rehabbers are moving with increasing degrees and fluidity. But this isn’t what distinguishes the Institute, enter Crisa Renard and Ryan Wasilawski, these two Exercise Physiologists and their investment in every individual is what’s behind the success stories that clients are quick to share.
Mary Whipple, who won three Olympic Medals, two Gold and one Silver, plus five World Championships, knows exactly how to achieve extraordinary results. As coxswain to the serially successful USA Women’s Rowing Eight, she was responsible for leading, understanding and ultimately driving her team across the line in first position, multiple times. Now,
After a stellar playing career that included 4 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, Kristi Stefanoni, Head Coach of the UMass Softball Program, has solidified her position as a stellar coach with another successful year and being rewarded with the title of 2018 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year.
Kristi Stefanoni ‘The UMass Minutewomen’ Extended Question & Answer By Mim Haigh, Sports Writer – Athlete Assessments For our recent article “Accountability Key to Championship Form”, our interview with Coach Kristi Stefanoni resulted in the below Q&A. For
Google, the #1 search engine in the world, ranked the top 10 attributes common to its best managers. We found that those behaviors run parallel to characteristics displayed by the most successful leaders in sport. Google’s findings support our knowledge that the best in the world reach that rank because of their expertise in people management, not just technology, equipment or physical capabilities.
We’ve all heard about the importance of athletes keeping training journals to improve performance, and like all valuable performance strategies it isn’t whether or not our athletes know about it, but whether they do it. Bo Hanson, Senior Consultant at Athlete Assessments says, “a training journal is one of the first activities we encourage athletes to do. The kind of things we like to see in a training journal include; the way an athlete feels about the session, any mental, physical or technical challenges they identify, things they want to improve on, things they were coached to improve on, strategies they tried and the values they lived on the team that practice.”