Teach first


OK so I’m going to admit that I get annoyed by little things.

It annoys me when qualified teachers get referred to as coaches without the coaching qualification.

It annoys me when people think that because I’m a coach that I lack the skill set to teach.

I am working through my issues though. …….via a blog that no one reads LOL

I like to think that I spend 90% of my time at work teaching, I like to think this because I believe that is what I should be doing. I believe that in order to do my job correctly as a coach (and one who aspires to be a high performance coach) I should be educating the athletes in my program. 

John Wooden (college basketball coach) wrote a book called :-

You haven’t taught until they have learned

The title kinda says it all. It’s very definitely worth a read and as an educator it’s a very challenging premise to adopt. Too quickly we blame the a lack of attention by the athlete or poor talent or work ethic for our athletes apparent inability to preform the tasks set, how differently would we work if we assumed that the burden or responsibility lay with us – the teacher.

I passes my teaching qualification 23 years ago and started on my level 3 coaches almost immediately. When I started work in a club my head coach put my with the under 12s for what seemed like forever. I didn’t get a ‘senior’ coaching role for almost 10 years.

I think that time spent learning at that level is invaluable. 

It seems to me that younger coaches are in such a rush to prove themselves and move to bigger squads with more prestige that they don’t spend any time working out their own philosophies and their own belief system. They risk potentially regurgitating what they enjoyed as swimmer and, I may be wrong, is there any long term future in that without the underpinning belief?

My philosophy is big on ownership, I want success but I want to have worked out the how and the why of it, id rather fail and adapt than have someone give me the solution. (Some call this stubborn)

This is something that I have doscovered over time, ithe has developed and continues to develop as I learn more about the sport and myself.

Do newer younger coaches get the opportunity or even want the opportunity to develop slowly? 

Just an opinion but sometimes the tortoise beats the hare.

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