Coach’s Challenge: Coach Without Seeing

About the Author

Chet Morjaria

This is the first in a series of challenges for coaches. If you want more, I’ll post more.


Can you teach without visual feedback?

As coaches we rely heavily on what we see. That sounds weird, right? But there’s so much more going on when we are coaching, and as coaches, we can’t see it all. We rarely take into account what the client is hearing, feeling, and seeing – and this is incredibly powerful feedback. The purpose of this challenge is to help you to incorporate other inputs, through asking your client questions. It’s a tough challenge, with tons of learning potential.

What to Do

You can teach any variation of the squat, and you can use any variations of the squat you like to teach it (that’s a clue). Stand facing away from your client but close enough so he or she can hear you. Explain what you want him or her to do. Your client should squat as you have instructed to the best of his or her ability  You can then ask questions for feedback on what just happened, before providing another instruction. Remember, you have a range of senses to work with here.

When your client feels like he or she has completed the challenge (that’s another clue), turn around and watch him or her do 5 slow, solid squats.

Then discuss and debrief the challenge with your client. Taking a video will be awesome debrief material for you too, to see how the squats progressed, or not, after each interaction.

Questions to Consider

  • Was your coaching instruction effective? Why or why not?
  • Did your questions provide you with the most relevant feedback? Why or why not?
  • Did your coaching instruction make good use of the feedback you received from your questions?
  • How were the squats? How do they compare to what you envisaged before you turned around?
  • What would you amend now you see the squats?
  • Did you already try to amend that aspect during your coaching interaction? Why didn’t it work as effectively as you hoped?

Bonus Question

What variation of the squat did you choose to teach? Did that choice help you succeed in empowering the athlete to move well?

Please share with your fellow coaches. Have fun!

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