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The Language of Coaching by Winkelman Nick

The Language of Coaching by Winkelman Nick

Author:Winkelman, Nick [Winkelman, Nick]
Language: eng
Format: azw3, epub
ISBN: 9781492567363
Publisher: Human Kinetics, Inc.
Published: 2020-04-19T16:00:00+00:00


SUMMARY

Just as an investment banker takes a fixed amount of money and invests it in the stock they believe will generate the greatest return, a coach takes a fixed amount of attention and invests it in the thoughts and actions they believe will generate the greatest learning. To do this effectively, however, the coach must understand the projected value of the cue they’re investing their athlete’s attention in. Only after this valuation has taken place can our banker and coach make an informed decision on the best investment.

The goal of this chapter was to allow you to go through this valuation process for yourself, giving you a chance to see how best to invest your athlete’s attention. I argued that cues that encourage an external focus of attention will net the highest return on your athletes’ attentional investment, whereas cues that encourage an internal focus will produce a much lower return and, in some cases, a loss. We discussed the historical precedence for this recommendation while considering a wide swath of evidence ranging from the lab to the field and muscles to movement. Finally, in the spirit of National Geographic, we examined attention in its natural habitat, showing that athletes will drift into an internal focus when under pressure and how this is directly tied to a breakdown in performance. Not to worry, however, because we also showed that the immunization for this lies partly in our ability to condition athletes to maintain an external focus in competition by first conditioning them to do so in practice.

In defining a cue as the last idea you put in your athlete’s head before they move, I provided you with a one-sided suggestion, recommending that this idea always come in the form of an external cue. However, we did not dismiss internal language completely; rather, we discussed its role within our coaching loop to encourage you to use internal language, as necessary, to support your description of a movement while leveraging your infinitely larger library of external cues to coach the movement. The outcome is a coaching loop that provides you with a consistent set of linguistic placeholders to ensure you give your athlete the right information at the right time.

Be this as it may, we have not discussed the process for creating and curating the most effective external cues. The truth is, moving your athlete’s focus beyond the perimeter of the body is just the start. To really understand how we build learning-rich language, we must dive into the anatomy of the cue and introduce you to the 3D cueing model.



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