Coaching Tip No. 25:

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Go back to basics to go forward further!  There is a saying in coaching that every time you allow one of your performers to execute a skill incorrectly you are giving one point to your opponent. The ability to repeat the appropriate movement actions (techniques) correctly under pressure is what defines the level of skilful performance.

For example, a tennis player who can consistently play a top spin forehand down the line when appropriate and when under pressure can be said to be ‘skilful’ in the execution of top spin and forehand techniques, shot selection and game play. Often coaches cut corners by wanting to get too much into a session, and by accepting incorrect or deficient technique for the sake of completing the ‘drill’, practice or game; or they may not be knowledgeable enough or have prepared thoroughly enough to be able to observe, analyse and understand what is deficient, what needs to be done and how they might do it to correct the errors or deficiencies.

If you think this might apply in your coaching – go back to basics: spend time improving your knowledge and observation skills, develop your intervention skills to help individuals become skilful, and encourage your participants to practise the basics. Simply building in an individual ‘techniques’ block of 10 minutes into your sessions will do wonders!