Sunday, June 28, 2009

The 3 C's of Feedback

To avoid over coaching, keep in Mind the 3 C's of feedback:

1.) Clear- Pretty self-explanatory, tell the athlete what you want and be specific! Describe what you want the drill or lift to look like. A lot of times I think we can get lazy and start assuming athletes know more than they do. Being on top of your game and walking them through step by step will undoubtedly erase any confusion and lead to more success.

Bad: “Let’s complete lateral box jumps for 3 sets of 5 on each leg”

Better: “Let’s complete lateral box jumps starting with our right foot for 5 repetitions, then we will move to our left leg and then complete 2 more sets for a total of three rounds off each leg”

The lesson: Communicate exactly what you want, without any room for improvisation. communicate unambiguously.

2.) Concise- This may sound hypocritical to number 1, but there is a distinct difference. Basically, do not over coach athletes. Give them one or two things to focus on at a time, master these concepts before moving on. Simplicity will work in your favor; you will not have to address elementary mistakes over the long run.

Bad: “To squat properly I want you to grab the bar, take a step back to the middle of the rack, loosen your grip and keep your elbows high while you squat down pushing your butt backwards until your femur is positioned parallel to the ground and your knee is over your toes keeping your head and chest up and your core tight”

Better: “To squat properly, let’s keep your elbows high, and chest up to parallel depth”

The lesson: Avoid lengthy verbage that may cause confusion- direct and to the point will be a lot more useful.

3.) Consistent- There may be nothing worse than contradicting yourself or another coach in the weight room. Too much inconsistent coaching leads athletes to doubt your knowledge and distrust your advice. Eventually, your coach-athlete relationship may be lost and you will lose that athlete. Be certain your feedback is correct, and if something changes, explain the difference and make sure they understand why- provide proper evidence as to why the old way changed.

Bad: Monday “keep your elbows high”, Wednesday “elbows up”, Friday “I don’t care where your elbows are as long as you squat low enough”

Better: Monday “keep your elbows high”, Wednesday “keep your elbows high”, Friday “keep your elbows high”

The lesson: Obviously, be consistent about the coaching cues you are using.