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Performance Considerations 

Technical Skills Descriptive and Prescriptive dialog

       Descriptive feedback is when a coach or trainer tells an athlete truthfully what was observered. Telling them what you think they need to do is prescriptive feedback. For a more experienced athlete it possible to just “You didn’t follow through.” However, this type of descriptive feedback is unsatisfactory for inexperienced players who do not know what a correct follow-through is like, or who aren’t sure how to make the necessary correction.

       It is necessary to provide prescriptive dialog as a coach, when attempting to alert athletes to the types of corrections they should make to see improvement. You need to describe the specific steps to perfofrm the task properly. To provide helpful prescriptive feedback, it is necessary to both detect errors and strengths in the athletes performance. It might be helpful to breakdown a task into simplified sub tasks or routines that are relatively easy to accomplish and thus earn some praise.

       Some coaches give speaches that talk at their athletes and wonder why the results are less than satisfactory. Developing an interactive dialog is a much more effective communication tool without any unexpected side effects:

Practical Considerations for establishing two way communications
        A coach may offer comments about an athlete's progress in acquiring a new fine motor skill.  Coaches efforts to empart information depends on how athletes percieve them. Perhapse you will recognize yourself:
  • Do athletes feel you easy to approach and ask for assistance?
  • Do you encourage an environment of athlete intimidation?
  • Do you talk down to your athletes or treat them with respect?
  • Do you feel you treat each athlete fairly?
  • Do you believe your athletes feel you are;
    • An intimidating figure?
    • A stern, but outstanding coach who never plays favorites.
  • Do you raise your voice in a discussion?
  • Do you always look at an athlete and make direct eye contact.

        Ten Characteristics of Highly Successful Coaches:

    1. Committed to individual integrity, values, and personal growth.

    2. Profound thinkers who see themselves as educators, not just coaches.

    3. Well-educated (formally and informally) in a liberal arts tradition.

    4. Long-run commitment to their athletes and their institution.

    5. Willing to experiment with new ideas.

    6. Value the coach-player relationship, winning aside.

    7. Understand and appreciate human nature.

    8. Love their sport and work.

    9. Honest and strong in character.

    10. Human and therefore imperfect.

    Source - the US Olympic Committee Coaching Development Office.

A Typical Coaches Personality Profile that is associated with being a top coach in any specific sport:
  1. Modesty - Doesn't tell everyone within ear shoot how good a coach they are!
  2. Conscientiousness -  A coaches actions should demonstrate their high sense of duty, responsibility, and reliability.
  3. Achievement focus -  The mantra  of a coach is "Be the very best you can be".
  4. Curiosity -  Constantly seeks new ways to assist your athletes in being good sports?
  5. Gregariousness - The personna recruits, parents of recruits, current players, alumni, and the head of the athlete department hold of the coach.
  6. Lack of discouragement -  When we are occasional down or discouraged coach continues to express confidence in the players. Such a coach tries his or her best not to interject any negativity to their athletes no matter how worried they are about individual and team performances. Athletes don't need someone around them that is communicating negative feelings while they arre preparing the athletes to put forth their best effort .
  7. Lack of self-consciousness -  After a sporting event, coaches will be interviewed by the media about the success and/or poor performances of their athletes. In today's electronic communication world can be reading the sports results and interviews within minutes after occurring.  If you can't stand the heat, its time to get out of the kitchen!

        Hopefully reading your comments of the list above has made you feel good about where you are as a coach.  Like our athletes, we may not have achieved a nomination for the “top coach” status, but the effect we make along the journey to get there is what truely makes us a better person!

 A really great coach puts players first.
        Winning is great, but it is just as important to help players develop positive character traits that are necessary to be successful in life.  Your athletes will come back later in life to say "thank You!"

A good coach is a role model first and plays by the rules
by Dave Boling, The News Tribune (Seattle)

        A Good coach lives the life, walks the walk, and never uses shortcuts. It is extremely important for a good coach to personify the following attitudes in their everyday life:
  • A good coach is someone players can respect on and off the playing field.
  • A good coach may make excuses for players, but players should never have to make them for the coach.
  • A good coach convinces their athletes that they can do something they never believed they could, and then teaches you how.
  • Some coaches may traditionly put up sayingsin the locker room that are intended to be inspiring.
  • Many coaches say they have an open-door policy, but a really good coach actually keeps desn't close the door unless he is having a private, personal conversation with an athlete or coach.
  • A good coach accepts blame. Sometimes he intentionally accepts the blame to deflect the attention from his/her players.
  • A good coach knows that it is necessary to treat them like adults not young children who throw tantrums.
  • A good coach gives his or her best, no matter how small the school.
  • A good coach understands that every athlete has different thresholds for criticism, embarrassment and pain and attempts to avoid siuations where personal commenents are made in front of team members.
  • A good coach says, "I didn't know that rule. I accept full responsibility!"
  • Every adult certainly knows that an excuse like "I was so drunk I don't know what happened" isn't acceptable, even from an adult who is legally allowed to purchase alcohol.
  • Good coaches may gamble on fourth down and try to make-a yard for a new series of downs, when it is against the conservative playbook for NCAA tournaments.
  • A good coach never participates in activities on or off the field that will embarase his/her family, the school and/or team.
  • A good coach establishs the rules at the beginning of the season and applies the consquences for rule infractions to every player, even star players.
  • A good coach understands the value of second chances, but doesn't extend a third chance.
  • A good coach is accountable, because he knows one of the most important traits he must teach his athletes is to accept responsibility for their actions.
  • A good coach doesn't have to worry if his cell-phone conversations are overheard.
  • Good coaches haven't forgotten what it is like to be exhausted, frustrated, and in pain.
  • Good coaches and players hate to lose, but they need to behave like a sportsman.
  • Good coaches remember that amateur athletes need to get good grades and recieve an academic degree to earn a paycheck after graduation.
  • Good coaches understand that going to school and playing a sport can be difficult.
  • A good coach understands that putting on the uniform is as important to the third-team player as it is for the All-American. Sometimes it is even more important.
  • A good coach spends more time serving as a character builder rather than a prima donna.
  • Good coaches think ahead and arrange for a designated driver.
  • Good coaches are human and make mistakes. But not ones that appear in the headlines on a frequent basis.
  • Good coaches establish a rule against participation in social media sites.
  • Good coaches don't have to ask for a second chance.
  • Good coaches may earn law degrees. But they don't need to use them to mount their own defense.
  • Good coaches teach you how to win. Not how to cheat.
      Ice skating consists of multiple Olympic events. With the increase of ice rinks that operate 12 months and national/international TV, ice hockey, speed skating, and figure skating have become nationally featured syndicated TV shows showcasing athletic performance and artistic entertainment.

      All forms of ice skating have intense training schedule for all levels of athletes.  Figure skating is no exception. In seems that each year that younger skaters are being expected to have a "full" package of technical elements and presentation skills if they are serious about placing in competitions.

      The following articles discuss the various areas that deal with test and competitive performance issues.



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