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The How-2-Coach modules include:

How to build rapport   

How-2 build rapport addresses the all-important skill of developing effective relationships with participants, other coaches, parents, officials and all involved in the coaching environment.

Coaches have long recognised that the ability to build rapport and to form and sustain effective working relationships with participants (and others) is more important than either knowledge of the sport or in fact any other coaching skill. Effective relationships are built on mutual respect and trust and a genuine interest in each other.

How to keep sessions fun

How-2 keep it fun is a crucial skill for coaches, for unless sport is fun and purposeful, people will not continue, learn new skills or achieve their potential.

Coaches need to create a fun, positive and supportive environment for all participants, wherever they are on the development pathway: whether children learning basic movement skills (fundamentals), talented and elite athletes or older participants.

How to keep participants safe

How-2 keep it safe examines the key factors when planning and delivering sessions to ensure participants are safe and to reduce the likelihood of injury.

It is coaches’ first and most important job to ensure that their participants are safe and protected from avoidable accidents and injuries at all times. While more senior  coaches may take prime responsibility for risk assessments and safety, all coaches have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure the safety of those in their charge.

How to explain

How-2 explain examines the principles underpinning the ability to keep instructions simple and clear.

Coaches are in the ‘people business’ and so need excellent communication skills. In particular, they need to be able to provide clear and succinct explanations. They often use explanations and instructions to explain what’s going to happen or what they want them to do. It’s particularly important in setting up activities safely and purposefully.

How to provide demonstrations

How-2 provide demonstrations helps coaches consider the principles that underpin the use of visual models to provide a picture of what the skill or practice should look like.

Many people learn more quickly by seeing a picture of what is required: the action, the play, the task, the practice. Demonstrations can therefore be a powerful tool to aid learning, so coaches need to be able to provide demonstrations at the most appropriate time and in the most effective way.

How to observe

How-2 observe addresses the crucial coaching skill of being able to look and watch accurately and in great detail.

This ability is a skill that can be developed and should initially be practised is isolation rather than as a prerequisite of analysis. Coaches need to observe the behaviours of the group and individuals, as well as techniques and tactics.

How to analyse and make decisions

How-2 analyse and make decisions looks are the cognitive skills of what coaches do with their observations in order to make effective decisions about whether to intervene and if so, what actions to take.

Analysing is a cognitive (thinking) process in which the brain compares what has been observed with what is expected and then makes a decision about possible actions. Analysis is a core coaching skill and an essential component in managing participants’ behaviours and motivation, as well as in developing skills and enhancing performance.

How to provide feedback

How-to generate and provide feedback helps coaches learn how, when and why to give participants feedback so that it makes a real difference.

Feedback can accelerate learning, improve performance, lift motivation, boost confidence and aid enjoyment. However it will only do this if it is given at the right time and in the best way.

How to enhance learning

How-2 enhance learning examines the principles that accelerate learning such as how to create a positive and supportive climate, how to be learner-centred and balance success with challenge.

Too often, coaches focus on what they are doing, on their teaching or coaching skills, rather than on how and whether their participants are learning. Coaches can do a number of things to increase the likelihood that people will learn, whether it’s learning sport skills, to be part of a team, about positive values or to manage emotions.

How to teach skills

How-2 teach skills reviews how to structure sessions to cater for people at different stages of learning and design practices to ensure long term learning rather than a quick fix change in performance.

Once relationships have been built and a positive environment created, coaches can focus on developing skill. They need to consider how skill is acquired, how practice is best structured and which coaching behaviours are most appropriate at different stages of learning.

How to question and listen

How-2 question and listen helps coaches to develop these fundamental skills that ensure participant engagement that enhances motivation and accelerates  learning.

Coaches need effective questioning and listening skills, particularly when using a ‘question and empower’ coaching strategy, which is at the heart of a truly participant-centred approach..

How to set and negotiate goals

How-2 set and negotiate goals addresses when, how and why to set process and outcome goals that motivate, provide direction and build confidence in participants.

Coaches need to set goals for themselves in order to go on developing their coaching skills, as well as with their participants to provide direction and motivation. Goals need to be carefully worded and monitored if they are to be effective.

How to plan and prepare

How-2 plan and prepare a coaching session guides coaches on what and how to think about before the session to ensure it achieves its purpose, runs smoothly and participants learn and have fun.

Coaches need to prepare thoroughly for ,every coaching session to ensure the purpose of the session is achieved and participants have had a safe, worthwhile and enjoyable experience. Subsequent sessions should build on previous sessions and work towards longer term goals.

How to organise and be organised

How to organise and be organised looks at the essential skills needed to make sessions run efficiently.

Coaches need to think carefully in advance of the session about how to organise the space, the equipment and participants. Good organisation ensures time is well spent, groups and activities are set up efficiently and participants spend more time doing, giving rise to more enjoyment, more learning and fewer behavioural problems.

How to promote high values

How-2 promote high values helps coaches to examine this difficult area and recognise the potential to do much more to develop people and their values than simply to teach them sport skills.

Coaches are very powerful role models for young people. With this respect and influence goes significant responsibility, not just to display positive values in their behaviour but to promote and shape the values of the people they coach.

How to select & use coaching styles

How-2 select and use coaching strategies considers a range of approaches  from coach-centred to participant-centred and explores when, how and why each might be used effectively.

Coaches need to be able to use a range of strategies and to select the most appropriate for the given participants, context and purpose. No one strategy  is necessarily better or worse than another. There is a time to tell, a time to watch and listen, a time ask questions and  let participants do more thinking and take more responsibility. Every approach will have its place, although some are likely to result in more lasting learning than others.

How to manage behaviour

How-2 manage behaviours offers suggestions and approaches that enable coaches to handle potentially disruptive behaviours in a way that maintains a positive learning climate for all participants.

Coaches need to prevent poor behaviour from happening and manage it if and when it does occur. They need to resolve the behaviour in a way that ensures safety, maintains the positive learning environment, safeguards the self-esteem of the participant and reduces the likelihood of the behaviour happening again.

How to coach children

How-2 coach children provides guidance on how children differ from adults and indeed from each other and the sort of adaptation coaches therefore need to make to their practice.

Children are not mini adults. They come in all shapes and sizes, have differing needs and require different coaching approaches. Coaches need to know how to adapt their coaching to meet the needs of every child.

How to evaluate your coaching

How-2 evaluate your coaching enables coaches to learn how to reflect and review the effectiveness of their session and plan for future sessions; reflect on and then develop their own coaching skills.

Typically, coaches spend lots of time and energy helping their participants to be better but rarely place the same importance on making themselves better. Strategies are offered to help coaches evaluate and develop their coaching skills and commit time to analysing it regularly in a systematic way.