Coach: “So what can we do differently in this game?”
Player A: “We need to get the ball to width.”
Coach: “Ok, we need to get it to width”
Player B: “We need to spread out.”
Coach: “We need to spread out.”
Player C: “We need to be deeper.”
Coach: “We need to be deeper.”
Player D: “We need to run straighter."
Coach: “We need to run straighter."
Now, at first glance it may appear that the coach is listening with intent by repeating what the players have said, however, answer repetition does present a few problems. By repeating answers, the players are likely to switch off listening to each other. They may rely on the coach to do all the listening and talking.
Another potential problem here is that the coach is controlling the pace of the conversation. It becomes a bit like conversational tennis, where the player hits it to the coach to replay what has been said, then hits the conversation to another player and so forth.
As coaches we are strongly encouraged to ask questions, which hands power over to the players. The next challenge is to allow space for the players to listen to each other and problem-solve together, so try to avoid answer repetition. Instead of repeating answers, you may like to facilitate players to think a bit deeper or help the players to narrow their focus. “Ok, so from the following solutions you've talked about, what is one thing we can implement?”
Have you got that?
Yes I’ve got that?
Oh jeepers, just did it again.
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