Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you need to improve as a coach?
These are the kind of questions that you need to ask yourself on a regular basis. Self analysis is very important if you are serious about improving as a coach. Evaluating your performance in the session and the session itself is a great way of finding out your strengths and weaknesses.
However, it is also important to find out what other people think of your coaching style and your sessions. The players you coach and other coaches that assist you may see things differently to how you see them. The players are the ones who take part in your session, so no matter how great your session appears on paper, the players are the ones who take part in the session. Value their feedback. Other coaches who observe your session can see things that you can’t always evaluate yourself as your busy taking the session; from your delivery style to games that you could adapt/improve.
I remember my 1st session with another more experienced coach. After the session had finished he asked me how I thought the session went. In my mind I knew that there were parts of the session that could be improved, but I still thought the session went really well. That’s when he brought up a few points such as where I could have adapted games and how I could have handled certain situations. It was a big eye opener.
So yesterday, I decided to make a mini feedback questionnaire in order to see what the kids thought of my sessions and maybe help me find out more about the kids I coach. The 5 questions I asked were:
(1) Why do you play football?
(2) What do you like about our sessions?
(3) What would you change/do differently in our sessions?
(4) What would you want me to change as a coach?
(5) What do you like about me as a coach?
I wanted to focus more on evaluating my sessions and it was only half way through the session where I decided to ask the last two questions, as I thought it would be good to find out more about my coaching style.
Feedback from Kids – These are the results of the mini questionnaire. The kids are between 10 and 11 years old.
I didn’t know what to expect but some of the answers were great! Not once did any of the kids say they play Football to win, which was reassuring. It also told me that I should teach more tricks as the kids enjoy that aspect of the game. The kids are learning in every session and find the sessions fun, which was good to hear.
Watch out for Carl’s response to the 4th question. It really does highlight what his other coach uses for discipline during their sessions!
So go to your next session with a set of questions (you can use mine if you want) to ask your players and make sure you ask each individual away from the group. I feel that you get more honesty that way as there’s less peer pressure. Be patient after you have asked the question and give the kids time to answer. Make sure you don’t answer the questions for the kids.
No matter how positive or negative the results from the questionnaire are, use the results to aid your development.