Who is the Expert?
You as the athlete, YOU must be the expert!
But, but, but.. I thought the coach was supposed to be the expert?
No, the coach WILL BECOME the expert, but you must first be the expert!
Let me explain…
You (as the athlete) know how you feel, know your motivation level, know what goes on inside your head, and you are there at every practice watching every match that you have ever played. On the other hand, your coach doesn’t know how you feel, is not inside your head, and is not there for every session. Your job is to first understand yourself then work together with the coach to help him understand you. Once your coach has a better understanding of you, he will become the expert.
After a big match last week, I was talking with one of the US National Team Members in Las Vegas. He and I both agreed that he had a major problem in his game (I’m not going to specify). I asked him if his personal coach at home was structuring his training routines to fix the problem. He replied by saying… “No, I just do the same drills that all the other kids do day after day.” I then gave him a list of specific drill that he could use to fix his major problem. He somewhat shrugged it off with, ok I might do them.
So, who is to blame with having this same problem and not fixing it?
Many people would blame the coach. I would primarily blame the student. It is the student’s job to inform the coach of issues (mental and physical) that he is currently having. Then it is the student’s and coach’s job together to structure training sessions to fix the problem or problems. Most player just sit back and do whatever the coach says to do. If you want to progress your game, please please please please do not take this approach. You as the athlete need to always be active in thinking, active in getting to know yourself. Active in becoming the expert of your own game. And, active in helping your coach become the expert in your game. Two experts are better than one. If you are looking to make major progress in your game, you need two experts!
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