“I’ve had a coach way back and he told me I need to put on 10kg. And I was like how am I supposed to do that? I was like 14. So give me something little to work on as I’m not going to be able to put on 10kg in 3 days or something. Give them little things to work on.” (18 year old boy rugby player)
One of our key roles as a coach is to provide feedback to our players. We essentially help our players improve through the way we give feedback and the feedback we give. Of course if you’re a player-centered coach, you’ll likely apply questioning based approaches and get the players guiding themselves, although there is always a time to give feedback too, as players won’t always be aware of areas to improve.
So consider how to give feedback. Quick fixes can almost be done on the run before, during and after practices. Depending on your relationship with certain players will determine how they take on feedback. If your feedback requires deeper thought or is more challenging, then away from the practice environment is preferable. You’ll need to take due time so feedback is understood and accepted.
Then consider what feedback is actually achievable. Short-term physical changes are not all that helpful. Breaking feedback into short-term, mid-term and long-term periods is more relevant. What can be achieved this week? What can be achieved next year?
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