Coaching and Communication

Whenever you are trying to lead others, whether you are a schoolteacher, coach or a business owner, communication is key. I am certain you have heard this before but it must be the correct type of communication. When warriors are in the battlefield in the middle of a firefight, communication must be SIMPLE. Think about it. You are leading a group of warriors into battle. Things quickly go south. The enemy had twice as many men as you thought and are closing in. You need reinforcements…now. The last thing that you want to have to do is be on the radio for two minutes explaining the situation while asking for backup. During this wasted time, your distracted attention can mean life or death. Instead, you would want to speak for 5 seconds to get your message across so you can be fully engaged with your job and have your eyes back on the battlefield. As coaches, we are constantly communicating. As soon as we walk into the door, it is our job to tell our athletes what they are doing well and what they can improve on. It is important that communication is simple and concise. The reason being is twofold. First, the athlete can better understand a two-word coaching cue as opposed to an elongated explanation. For example, if an athlete is lifting around the knees and is missing a clean out in front I could stop their workout and tell them that they missed the lift because they extended their hips prematurely without extending the knees. This causes the knees to be over the barbell forcing it to come around the knees thereby, causing a shift in their balance. This further leads to them needing to bring the bar back in during the second pull which tends to shoot the bar forward after contact. Or I could just tell them to “push through” the floor. That cue tends to get the knees in the right position and the rest of the lift takes care of itself. This is much simpler and easier for everyone. The second reason for simple communication is that it frees up everyone’s time to get more work done. Going back to that example, if I spent a full two minutes with an athlete for every coaching cue I gave, I would spend a fraction of the time coaching everyone else and they could have had two more minutes of work time. This is clearly a problem especially in a group setting. By giving simple communication that the athlete understands, I can move on to another person and keep the coaching train rolling. Thankfully, communication for my particular job is not a life or death situation and I am going to guess that your job is not as dire either. However, by learning to communicate simply and concisely, we can not only help an individual better and more efficiently, we also have time to get more work done and lead more people. More time and people to lead = more warriors in the making.

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