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Coming in as a new coach | Coaching Adults

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Posted in: All other topics on coaching adults

Coming in as a new coach

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  • batty

    hi guys

    Hope we are all well!

    In January I start a new role working with a Commonwealth Games team as a Coach.  I have been scouted for this role and am delighted at the opportunity I am being offered, therefore I'm looking for some tips and advice with regards to making a good impression.

    Some of the athletes I will be working with have worked with different coaches previously, as well as currently and having done some background scouting of these athletes, I can see issues with simple elements of their performance that, personally, I am a little shocked with.  So how is best to come across addressing these issues without my mouth engaging before my brain and I end up saying something along the lines of "that persons an idiot, try it this way".

    Any other tips for coaching high performance teams would also be appreciated :)



  • Paulgriff

    Keep it simple "Lets try this way and see if it makes a difference" or "this has worked for me previously"   no need to say a previous coach was wrong/bad/stupid. 

  • batty

    Just to clarify i wouldn't actually say that..  I just see the potential conflict as a possible barrier..  afterall if I, as an athlete,  am working with a coach and started training in an additional squad with another coach it would, in my opinion be the job of the coach to impress me into using them.

  • Paulgriff

    Glad to hear that!

    It's great that you have already identified areas to work on where you could make real improvements, if you can get them to trust your judgement and try your ideas they should see improvement which will surely win them over.

  • robertkmaaye

    Hi Michelle

    Congrats on the new role...sounds very exciting!

    Reading your post it reminded me of a blog  Krissi Paterson posted earlier this year called Ostracised Newbie or Welcomed Addition? Being the 'New Coach'. I'm sure there will be some useful tips for you in there.

    Good luck in the new role



  • Simo

    Hi Michelle

    Good luck with the new role.

    I think a great start would be to do some work with the group on values and getting the culture right. 


  • robertkmaaye
    On 16/12/16 8:19 AM, Chris Simcock said:

    group on values and getting the culture right

    Some brilliant experiences shared by members to help you out with this in  Elliott Doyle The Practical Issue With Developing A 'Culture' thread. Blake Richardson also wrote a great blog How to create a winning culture through the use of emotional intelligence

  • garylambert

    Hi Michelle, congratulations, I hope you enjoy the challenge and achievement. I faced this same conundrum a little over a year ago.

  • garylambert

    oops, hit return too early.

  • garylambert

    Having transitioned into a new sport (Touch from Union), I gained rapid promotion and found myself essentially head hunted into the National Head Coach Role for England's senior women. The feeling as I am sure you are aware is a tremendous mixture of joy, achievement and then the trepidation. My single best piece of advice is to write down the skills and attributes that got you scouted. They are your strengths that got you here and that those who scouted you appointed you for. Also go ask them what else they saw in you...these are the reasons they want you, and the skills that are needed to develop. Play to your strengths. The single greatest attribute of any player or coach has got to be self awareness in my opinion. Know yourself and then know your players. Spend time doing both. We had a meet and greet, we "speed dated" and they were allowed to ask me pretty much anything but then had to answer my own question in return... set a fascinating scene for the campaign. There are players who have far greater experience and depth of sport specific knowledge in our squad, but they needed what I had, and vice versa. Ultimately we have a great rapport where we all understand each others strengths weaknesses and can openly admit when we are wrong too. Has made for the most enjoyable year I have ever had in coaching... I hope it goes the same for you too!

  • Blake

    That’s great news Michelle. Exciting times! In addition to Rob’s suggestions, you might be interested in checking out a couple of other blogs around dealing with pressure and how to cope on the big occasion. Best of luck.



  • pippaglen

    Well done Michelle.  Over the past year I have been working alongside Paralympics coach working and coaching Paralympics athletes and Invictus athletes,  at first I found it very difficult to work with his athletes as I felt that I was treading on his toes and didn't want athletes to think I was a bad coach then I remembered the best piece of advice that was given to me by an examiner, "Don't try and imitate another coach,  be yourself you are the coach." Now I coach my way with the added information gained from Phil Pete who is an amazing coach and taught me so much more over the past year and hopefully one day will be able attend the Paralympics with athletes like Phil does.  

    What one coach think is right others think is wrong go with what you know and start a fresh, I have experienced coaches that have coached for many years not updating there coach knowledge or Cpd and think there is no other way to coach, you are the coach so make it so number 1 😁.  Athletes need to know your expectations as well as you knowing there's some might welcome You with open arm where other athletes might find difficult to adjust however this should give you more drive and determination to succeed.  

    You was picked for a reason, you should be proud of your achievements. Well done. 

  • batty

    Hey all!

    Thought I would reply and let you know how the weekend coaching went..  

    Firstly they want me back, and they want me back more than once..  and i've been photographed as the "Commonwealth Games Team Shooting Coach" 

    So I must have been doing something right!!!

    The one person I had the main concerns about, I actually ended up staying with him and his family so we got off onto a good start.  I was a little taking back by his lack of understanding of the fundamentals and we did have a couple of "i've been told this" scenarios that I was able to hold my ground with

    Otherwise the weekend went really well and i'm looking forward to going back for more

    Thank you for all your help


  • Ralph

    We do what we know, when we know better, we do better.


    As my Dad said, “opinion are bumholes, everyone’s got one.”


    Or that conversation in The Kings Speech film.

    King: “My doctors told me, smoking is good for my lungs.”

    Speech Therapist: “they’re idiots”

    King: “These are Knighted medical professionals!”

    Speech Therapists: “that makes them official idiots.”


    It’s all information, how the athlete disseminates and interpreted that information will be down to the personality. Some athletes believe in the information they received, especially if it came from a respected source and it came with extrinsic success, (medals).

    Truth is, belief require no proof, what so ever.

    It maybe true, you see in this particular athlete’s coach and wonder about “how on earth?”, and “what were they thinking?”


    Whatever the reason, the level of sport you coaching at, isn’t a popularity contest, you were selected because you’re perceived to be the best coach. So each athlete you coach, you expect to be uncompromising to their opponent, and you lead by example.

    You ain’t budging in your way of viewing fundamentals and if their old coach is an idiot, then that’s what they are and if that needs to be said, so be it.

  • Nick

    Hi Michelle

    This is one  my pet bugs in some  coaching environments. 

    A club coach might well be  teaching an athlete the wrong techniques. My first question would  be Does he know he's teaching the wrong techniques.  

    I used to  coach at an academy and the amount of times I saw wrong form ...

    None of the archers  brought their  coaches or should I say none of the  club coaches turned up. I did invite two new coaches to work with  me to improve their  club coaching skills, they responded really well to that. While their  archers shot arrows we  talked about what to look for, how to "fix" things and I did run a workshop on drills and skills for  coaches. 

    That could be one way to start. 

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