Having a good coach is key to success, but the coach alone can not do it, the athletes have to do their part.
First, be present
Picture athletes lined up or standing in a circle to listen to what the coach says introducing the training session. When this is over and it should be clear what the training session is about, everyone watching from the outside can see which athlete was paying attention, who was somewhat present, and whose minds were wandering off. Of course, it´s also the coach's job to be clear, motivating, and engaging.
The kids, who take off and know exactly what to do, are the ones who have been present. The ones who are hesitant for a second may know parts of the program for the session but aren´t totally sure what´s happening. And the group, who may keep chatting, or need to ask the coach or one of the other athletes, what´s going on, are already missing out before the session even starts.
Especially the last group doesn´t know what to focus on, at least not from the beginning. They are already missing an opportunity to get the most out of the session while other teammates are increasing their abilities. Who do you think the coach will focus on? Who is getting the attention? The athletes who are in action or those who try figuring out what actions to take?
It is impossible for any coach to focus on everyone all the time. The coach will subconsciously pick the ones doing the training, doing what the coach just asked them to do. The coach is looking after the kids who want to do the work because, with those kids, coaching makes the most sense and is very efficient.
This brings us to the second aspect.
When a coach constantly gets the feeling and feedback that the athlete already knows everything and doesn´t need to be coached, there will be the day that the coach stops trying to coach this athlete - and with that, is going to focus on the kids, who take the advice. We never ever will know it all. It´s worth all the time to at least think about the idea a coach is presenting.
And then there is a third point to consider.
Coaching alone is not doing it. The training has to be done as well. If an athlete is constantly looking for the perfect information but doesn´t train to turn it into a skill, it will burn out the coach. The nature defense would be less attention from the coach. On the other side also, the coach needs to give the athlete time to implement the coaching elements. If the transformation is still not happening, even with all the patience and athlete's attempts, the coach must be willing to explain, showcase, or coach in other ways.
What´s now the ideal scenario to get the coach's attention?
Being present - Being coachable - Train.
If you or your young athlete is wondering why the coach doesn´t pay attention, look into those three aspects. Kids will be surprised, not just how much more attention they are getting but also how much they are getting out of the coaching. We often look for advice that moves the needle immediately. A piece of advice alone can not do it, that would be too easy. But taking the coach's advice and putting it into action will at least create the wanted attention.
Do you have a Dream? Keep going towards it :)
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