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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 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. 

Common Mental Mistake #4: Productivity Without Results

Common Mental Mistake #4: Productivity Without Results

You are busy, but don’t feel productive. We have all been there. It’s not hard to confuse busyness with productivity.  It’s not hard to mistake activity for achievement. Consider the following of how you can identify this common mental mistake.

How to Lead with a Difficult Co-Worker

Have you ever been forced to work with someone that is difficult? You are expected to lead with this person who simply has no intention of being a good and effective leader. In fact, they stink.

-       They don’t share your vision.

-       They don’t share your values.

-       They lead (if at all) with a different style then you.

-       Sometimes it seems they are trying to sabotage you.

Remember group projects in school. They were the worst because you were expected to do all the work for everyone else. How do you lead someone that does not want to lead? This one incomprehensible, problematic, obstinate co-worker may very well be the reason for all your frustrations in life.

So what do you do? And what are your goals for taking the following actions?

Here are 7 ways to help

1.    Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

- Look in the mirror.

- Are you being difficult in your co-worker’s eyes?

- Are you showing humility? What is the source of your frustrations?

- Are you choosing your battles wisely? What are you willing to fight for and what can you let go?

Goal – Ensures you to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the tough situation of dealing with a difficult person.

2.    Learn Their Language

- Study your co-worker.  

- How do they communicate?

- Learn how to speak to them.

- Do they prefer text, phone calls, and/or emails? 

- When in doubt, ask them what they prefer.

- Start meetings by connecting with them at a personal level. For example,

ask about their family, favorite football team, movie they saw, etc.

Goal – Ensure no loss in translation. Understand what they are saying not just how they say it.

3.    Weekly Agenda Driven Meetings

- Write out an agreed upon agenda list prior to meeting.

- Email it out and ask for feedback before you meet.

- Meet once a week at the same time and same place.

- Take notes. Ask a lot of questions.

- Communicate expectations.

- Maintain a shared vision, shared values, and a healthy tone for the relationship.


Goal –Ensures your relationship will be intentional, Time with them will be short, and always professional.

4.    Keep Each Other Accountable

- Conclude each meeting with an agreed list of objectives or action items for each person.

- Be smart about how you assign objectives. You might need to take on items you don’t want to do for the sake of the project or program.

- Give your co-worker items they are gifted at or want to work on.

Goal – Ensures an environment that is healthy. Your co-worker will feel valued and appreciated.

5.    Create Systematic Progress Reports

-       After 2-3 meetings, create a report of your progress toward your desired goal.

-       Gather feedback from your co-worker. Ask for input.

-       Ask for his or her opinions about the next steps to take.

Goal – Ensures progress toward a desired end or goal.

6.    Watch Your Mouth

-       Never gossip about them to anyone. This will always come back to bite you.

-       Lift them up when appropriate.

-       Speak to others about what you value about them.

Goal – Ensures protection of sabotage from outside influences.

7.    Always be Professional

-       You don’t have to be friends.

-       Continue to delegate to your co-workers strengths.

-       Agendas will keep you on task.

-       You are always at work with this co-worker. Keep your guard up.

-       Conversations are professional and intentional.

-       Remember you are not their boss. You are probably a better leader, but a good leader works with hard people.

Goal – Ensures focus on the desired objectives and goals for the partnership. This co-worker will help you get there if you allow them to.

Do you like this list? Did I miss anything? Leave a comment below. 

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