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The Art of Coaching (Part Two)

Coaching is an art, a skill, and a constant case of behavioral science. A good coach needs to be a good scientist. He or she must take careful notes through observation and constantly test out hypotheses. To get an athlete to improve is a serious responsibility. The coach must incorporate different environments, various motivations, and a specific set of tools to ensure the athlete can reach their maximum potential. In my most recent post, The Art of Coaching: Part One, we looked at the tools of being a master, making it simple, and being as specific as possible.

Click Here for Part One

Tools needed (part two):

4. Demonstration

The best teacher is the one that can demonstrate what is being taught. Literally, show the athlete what the skill should and can look like when done right. This does not mean, for example, the coach needs to be fast or faster then the sprinter, but what is important is for the coach to demonstrate the proper form, posture, and technique (even if in slow motion). This will give the athlete a visual to mirror. Being a demonstrator means you need to workout. The older I get the harder it is to demonstrate. I also talk more then I warm-up. So pulling muscles and ending the day sore is a common occurrence.

Try downloading the free app Ubersence. Your slow-motion video taping at practice has never been easier.

5. Observation

In part one, I called the coach a scientist. Observation is one of the key elements of any good science. The coach must learn how to watch their athletes. I video tape practice and meets, put it in slow motion at practice, and observe the movements of the athlete. This type of observation has helped me learn to can count an athlete’s steps in between the 300m hurdles. Good observers know where to place themselves physically to capture the correct movement. I once heard that John Wooden used to sit in the nose bleed section to observe and watch his team from a different perspective.

6. Memory

Practice to compete. This happens when you slow down and teach the correct movements. If the athlete hurdles, jumps, throws, vaults, or sprints in the wrong way, they will only learn how to continue to do it wrong. “Perfect practice makes perfect.” My warm-up is 35-45 minutes long and breaks down proper sprint drills. You have to walk before you can sprint. We walk our A-skips, C-Skips, straight leg bounds, etc. before the athletes go full speed.

7. Vision Plan

A good coach creates a vision plan with strategic goals for the season. If you want to get from point A to point B you must identify where point B is. For my athletes this season, it is the League Championship. We work to that end goal. I work backwards from that date and create a template for the work I would like the team to accomplish. Each week I write the specific workouts based on the needs for the team in light of my vision plan.

Too many coaches show up the day of and make up the workouts. This is preposterous. You will see so much more improvement you if you have a plan.

The best coach learns how each athlete learns.

Then they meet them there.

The Art of Coaching (Part One)

Coaching is an art, a skill, and a constant case of behavioral science. A good coach needs to be a good scientist. He or she must take careful notes through observation and constantly test out hypotheses. To get an athlete to improve is a serious responsibility. The coach must incorporate different environments, various motivations, and a specific set of tools to ensure the athlete can reach their maximum potential.

Tools Needed

1. Master

It takes 10,000 hours to master a particular skill. So they say. This involves patience while you learn from every mistake. You will not do it right all the time. Take notes of each workout and conversations you have with your athletes. How are you communicating and executing your plan? Is it well received?

What are you teaching? Are you teaching? Regardless of the level you coach, you must reinforce the basics everyday. Do you know the basics? You should be a student of your sport. Learn the science behind each movement (Newton’s Laws of Motion, Kinesiology, energy systems of the body, the Central Nervous System, hydration, nutrition, specific race plans). Take your new knowledge and apply it in light of your goal for the athlete and season. Observe and report. Remember you are a scientist just as much as a motivational speaker. Read, listen, and take someone out for lunch to learn from their experiences. (I personally have a goal to take 3 coaches out to lunch/coffee a year. This has helped my training philosophy greatly).

2. Simplicity

 There is such a thing as too much. Know when to stop. Under training is better then over training. Have a plan, but keep it simple. The more complicated the workout or training plan will call for a complicated explanation. The athlete may lose what you are trying to have them achieve in their training. This loss in translation can make or break a workout and season. 

3. Specificity

A simple Google search will bring a long list of activities one can do to get better (for example, 400m workouts by Clyde Hart or Jim Bush). If every coach did this, wouldn’t everyone be successful? Only you know your culture, school, team, and athlete. The big question here is how does it all fit in with what you are trying to accomplish. It is the task of the coach to write a meaningful training regimen with this big picture in mind. The coach is preparing the athlete to succeed at the highest level in and during competition.   Do not waste practice and be intentional with every minute you have in regards to your overall goal.  This takes planning and preparation.

The best coach learns how each athlete learns.

Then they meet them there.

Next post: The Art of Coaching Part Two - Demonstration, Memory, Vision Plan

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome

True Leadership is defined in how you respond when things do not go according to plan. Let’s be honest, life rarely goes as planned. In your leadership, it is exhausting and frustrating if you try to control every situation. Truly great leaders are the ones who are able to rise above the unplanned problems and difficult situations that come up, while maintaining their goals, vision, and authority.

What is Coaching and

What is Coaching? 


Coaching is a one-on-one interactive relationship that helps people identify and accomplish their personal and professional goals faster than they could on their own. Think of Coach Ayers as an assistant coach whose responsibility is to ensure the Head Coach becomes a better leader, who leads with vision, values, and the ability to lead a program into long lasting success. 

What is is a coaching firm founded by JT Ayers. Coach J.T. Ayers is a proven leader who has demonstrated a unique ability to teach, motivate, and direct students, athletes, coaches, and professionals, helping them to maintain high levels of engagement and achievement. As a coach and mentor, Coach Ayers has worked effectively with athletes and professionals on all levels of the spectrum, proving his ability to impact leaders where they are, and helping them get where they want to go. Coach Ayers is a self-motivated educator and coach, exhibiting strong discipline, effective planning, organization, and leadership skills. 

Who do we typically coach?

A wide variety of people can benefit from coaching. In our practice we focus primarily on:

- Leaders who are striving to work smarter rather than harder

- Coaches who desire to be more effective in their programs

- People who are trying to balance life and work priorities

- Leaders who are interested in creating intentional vision with values

- Leaders who want to accelerate their own personal growth and achieve measurable goals

- Organizations that are seeking to develop high potential leaders

We specialize in coaching high potential people, organizational leaders, and team leaders looking for someone to walk alongside them in order to help them achieve their goals.

Interested in receiving Coaching? Contact Coach Ayers and become a better leader today. 

The Power of Questions

The Power of Questions

A good leader is a person who leads with people and not at people.  It is crucial to ensure that those I lead are valued and appreciated. In my experience, I have found the answer to this dilemma is to ASK GOOD QUESTIONS. 

The Top 3 Benefits of Coaching

1. Issues we Focus on:

Common issues that our clients are looking to be coached in include:    

Personal leadership growth

Work life balance

Staff dynamics and leadership

 Creating and Implementing Vision

Creating a culture of developing high potential leaders

 Improving communication amongst leader and organization

Creating shared values and guidelines for organization

Creating an environment with smart measurable goals

2. What is included in the skill set of an excellent coach?

An excellent coach is:

A great listener

Excels in problem solving

Enjoys difficult challenges

Has the ability to focus

Consistently offers encouragement and support

Is clear and concise

Has the ability to see through fog to core issues

- Has a wide variety of experience

- Has excellent communication skills

- Desires that clients experience change

- Offers different perspectives

- Is willing to have hard conversations

Willing to challenge and confront when necessary

- Points out what clients may not see

- Insists that the coaching relationship produces results for the client

I am and will be an excellent coach for you!

3. What will Coaching do for you?

A Coach will move you forward toward achieving your goals.

A Coach will help you get unstuck.

A Coach will develop your leadership potential.

A Coach will empower you to accelerate change in your organization.

A Coach will assist your organization in navigating transitions.

A Coach will help you to grow in Character, Health, Life, and Leadership.

Coaching is for anyone that wants to improve his or her leadership.

-       A Head Coach of a sports program

-       A Team Leader in the work place

-       An Individual who desires to see personal growth in their own leadership

Click here to get in Contact with Coach JT Ayers. I will never promise something that I cannot deliver on.