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This is for anyone who is in the first year of coaching. I need you to do one thing. Listen.

When it comes to feedback and corrections listen to the feedback the coach is giving and watch it play out. Can you see the original error? Can you see the change? Then take the feedback and use the exact words on someone else. Did anything happen?

Copying is the best way to learn when you’re new. Understanding comes later, copy as much as you can and the more you use it the more you will understand what you’re teaching. This may sound odd, that understanding doesn’t matter, but it speeds up the learning process. Here are some ways to seek understanding.

  1. Ask the other coach why they gave that correction
  2. Watch videos of people explaining
  3. Repetition of giving the correction

There are still drills I’m learning how to use to their full potential and I’ve been coaching for 9 years.

Listening to the way the coaches around you talk. When you ask a coach to put how they teach into words you never get the whole story. That’s because there are things like tone, body language, silence, and timing that all go into giving instructions.

So your job is to listen for those details, because they matter. Coaches think since you are in charge everyone will follow your instructions. False. The delivery matters. How and when you talk matters.

The last form of listening you need is the “do as you’re told” listening. You’re new, so even if you think something is wrong just listen. As a new coaching its much easier to be idealistic than practical. Because you don’t have any real experiences. All those years you were a swimmer are great, but it’s not the same as coaching. You don’t hear this advice often but… do what you’re told.

Then as you learn and gain understanding you can expand on that.

Next thing you know you’re teaching the next generation of coaches!

Good luck out there.

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