Coaching DURING the Game
Yes, you are allowed to coach your student during the game! In this short article, I want to outline the 3 basic types of coaching that can and should sometimes be done DURING THE GAME – encouragement, informative, and secretive.
Encouragement like “Come on” “This point” “Good shot” “Keep fighting” are very helpful. The type and amount of encouragement will differ greatly from player to player.
General informative coaching can be spoken out loud without fear of the opponent and/or opponent’s coach hearing. Informative coaching includes reminders like.. “Keep Moving” “Think about placement” “Remember the plan” “Take your time.” These are especially helpful for the fragile student that needs support during the game and likes getting feedback from the coach. These are a step further than just simply encouragement because these actually give advice.
In order to keep tactical advice from the opponent or opponent’s coach, this needs to be done in code language or signals or spoken while the player is getting the ball at the barriers. Without the player and coach feeling 100% comfortable with this, it can really be a huge distraction to the player. If a player and coach want to implement this, I would highly recommend using it during private lessons, group training, club play, league matches, etc… Once the system has been developed for secretive coaching, then it can be a huge assistant, especially for kids. Just remember that both the coach and player must feel comfortable with it prior to using it in important tournaments. Also, remember that the code words or signals don’t need to be used at all – when the player wins the first game and is leading 5-0 in the second game, just let him play. The signals are designed for a SPECIFIC situation, NOT every point.
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