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As coaches, we all have to work with a full range of parents and other interested individuals – those who drop off and leave, those who are supportive and provide much needed support, to those who are the loud, (Un)informed spectators who know better, have seen better and could do better (but never put themselves forward to make it better). Take any sport from a spectator’s angle and on an average weekend you will be able to hear the comments concluding performances and results were better in certain eras, under certain management in those halcyon days of Yore. Sport, tactics and playing styles have evolved considerably over the past 30 years, from the advent of professionalism in some sports, the embracing of sport science and technology through to general participation trends. Coaching has moved on to mirror (and inspire) these changes, and sessions, practice and input is (or should be!) very different. My inspiration for this blog came from another blog from South Africa, discussing the call for out and out attacking philosophies from spectators and reporters in their Rugby Union provincial sides, based on principles of former teams and former coaches from previous eras. Rugby Union is very different from the amateur game that was prevalent in the 1970’s and 1980’s, to the professional game that we see today. So how we can support the process of educating the spectator in our own coaching, and support the development of the understanding from all those involved in our programmes? Some top tips:
It is important to learn from the past, but appreciate the environments and populations were different, so it may not have been better in the good old days. Change and open mindedness is vital to the development of the coach and their performers - but it is also vital for the change and the aims to be understood and appreciated. Open minded coaches working with open minded performers, and open minded supporters can only be a good thing.
If you enjoyed this you can find all my other ConnectedCoaches blogs here.
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