We use cookies to give you the best experience and to help improve our website. By using our website you are accepting our cookies.  Learn More

UK Coaching Research Team
51

Four Questions to Consider When Coaching During Competition

Research with Olympic athletes has shown coach behaviour during competition can have both positive and negative influences on performance

The responsibility of a coach is not just to prepare athletes for competition but also to help them through the action. Research with successful track and field coaches has identified what coaches can do during competition.

Positive influences came from:

  • trust
  • good crisis management
  • decisive and fair decision making
  • commitment to the athlete, and
  • good planning.

On the other hand, negative influences came from:

  • not keeping things simple
  • over-coaching
  • spending too much time with athletes
  • unrealistic expectations, and
  • conflict.

So coaches have an impact.

Here are four key points that you might want to consider:

  1. Don’t let your ego get in the way of your coaching. How often do you step back and let the athletes get on with it? Trust in your planning and in your athletes.
  1. Have you thought about how your behaviour influences your athletes or players? This can be both what you say and how you act.
  1. How do you know when to intervene and when to stay silent? From these elite coaches, the key question to ask is: ‘Is this really what the athlete needs, or should I just keep quiet?’
  1. If you are going to give feedback during competition, keep it simple and concise. Why not ask your athletes how they prefer to receive feedback and what level of detail they find helpful?

Please note the researchers are keen to stress that their results cannot be applied directly to other settings – this is elite sport, and in other sports (especially team sports), the coach may have more direct influence.

Orchestrating Success

How Successful Elite Coaches Act During Competition

Read

Related Content

  • A Framework for Critical Reflection

    View
  • How Successful Elite Coaches Act During Competition

    View
  • The Road to Becoming an Elite Coach

    View

Like this resource? We'd love you to share a link to it.

Want to reproduce this resource, or part of it, elsewhere? Please do the right thing and make a permissions request so we can licence its proper use.

UK Coaching Research Team