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Coaching Creativity: A Holistic Approach | Coaching Youth (age 13-18)

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Posted in: Coaching Youth (age 13-18), General Forum

Coaching Creativity: A Holistic Approach

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  • saranicolehilton

    As a football coach I am always encouraged to hel my players be creative. It is vital within an invasion sport to coach the fundamentals of the sport without creating over-coached, unambiguous robots. 

    I realize I am preaching to the converted, however, I am keen to know how you try and adopt a holistic approach and develop each aspect of a player? You may not adopt a holistic approach and focus purely on technique/skill of a player. 

    For those coaches who do adopt a holistic approach - how do you focus on all the aspects as well as encourage creativity? 

  • pippaglen

    Hi Sara 

    As a Athletics coach I have  use athletics 365 to assess each individual athlete, every  6 weeks I have used 1 training day to do an assessment day where I set out different activities eg Abc,  running,  jumping and throwing, making sure athletes techniques are correct, the athletes understand why they are performing the techniques and for athletes to set there own goal for the next assessment.The information collated is recorded and put on a database so I can see how each individual athlete have progressed and to see how much training  athletes need to do to accomplish the next goal.  When athletes have achieved the goals they receive a certificate to show there achievement and they have reached the goal. A great incentive for athletes.  

    This has worked and athletes train harder and concentrate on techniques and also compete against other athletes. 

    As a coach it helps me see which athlete's need extra help on techniques, understanding and or fundermentals. 


  • JonWoodward74

    Hi Sara - love the question!

    I would challenge back and say the two should go hand in hand. Encouraging creativity can be a key step in developing the fundamentals of movement and sport skills, and to enthuse creativity, you need to be a creative coach. Culture is very critical towards different and new ideas.

    I use an image quite a lot (attached) about how there are different ways to acheive the same outcomes, and I am often frustrated by coaches using the drills and games they have seen on a course/resource and not developing them into something more - the holistic should be used as the tool to develop the specific. The challenge within teams and groups is the varying level of ability, understanding, etc. but I believe you can coach by not coaching - if the players can complete the skill, and combination of skills, we should be there as refiners of performance through the development of innovative and interesting sessions. Players of all levels enjoy games, challenges and different ways of developing themselves.

    Simply put, I am a holistically creative coach.... or maybe a creative holistic coach... either way, I don't see them being seperate but something that is firmly used together

    I'll get off my soap box now..!

  • David_T

    Hi Sara,

    I think Emma makes an interesting point around athletics 365 - I often use this, particularly in the winter to not only develop fundamentals - but actually show where what might be percieved as a fantatics athletes in terms of distances or times, may actually have some clear strengths and waeknesses.  It gives so many opportunitwes for athletes to compete as equals, when normally they wouldn't be, that it's a fab tool.

    For me another thing I really like to do is be really honest and just ask what people want to get from sessions - involving them in the process really gives some ownership to holistic development I feel!



  • JonWhittingham

    Hi Sara,

    Like the other replies, I would say I try to use a combination of approaches in giving the players a holistic approach. I think that including the player in the process is key to this so that you can get their buy-in and keep them focused on what they need to develop on.

    I use a mixture of coach-led and peer-led review and I've begun recently to start using video footage to allow the players to track their own progress. I don't think its possible to work on every aspect of the player in every session so its about giving players different challenges regularly throughout the season to draw on different areas and show them how every aspect compliments each other. 

    I set goals for the players to achieve myself but I let them have input into the process to so they start to think about their own development. The more open and encouraging the environment, the more creative the player will be as they will not be afraid of making mistakes and learning from them. I have found this to be very powerful in giving the players confidence to be creative.

  • ABradshaw

    Not sure if people have seen this blog:

    Developing Creativity

    There's often some pretty good stuff in his musings, and this one focuses on creativity.

  • Wendyrussell

    I agree with Jon,

    As a coach we need to make sure we develop a player as a whole. If you don't then when they are struggling to make the right decision or effectively perfor a skill they may get frustrated and cross. Educating a player about how to deal with this and how to over come it. I have found rewarding young player when they preserver and carry on, means that when they are older they have this internally "built in"

  • robertkmaaye
    On 03/08/15 7:52 PM, Sara Hilton said:

    For those coaches who do adopt a holistic approach - how do you focus on all the aspects as well as encourage creativity? 

    For me Sara this creativity/holistic conversation is one of the great threads on the site. For anyone interested there is now also a great blog by member Richard Cheetham on the site ‘Creativity and coaching’ where he takes people through his six stages of introducing a new idea

    Also Blake Richardson's 'Let the creative sparks fly: The ‘C’ system, chapter two' blog with supporting video is worth a read/watch.

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