Show and Tell

By Brian Gotta, President of CoachDeck:

If you’ve ever watched good coaches in action you’ve noticed that they know how to talk to their players, and what to say. But you also may have noticed that they show more than they tell. And even better than that, the best coaches get their players to show instead of tell as well.
I’ve seen all too many coaches who believe that once they’ve said something, the team understands and can go do it. It’s that simple. They’ll talk about something for several minutes and finish their speech by saying, “Got it?” to which, of course, the team nods “Yes.” Then, five minutes later the coach is hollering, “No! That’s not what I told you to do!”
Anytime I teach or reinforce a point during a practice or game, I’ll demonstrate what I want them to do. Then, before I move on, I’ll simply say to the player or entire team, “Show me,” and have the player do what I just taught. I like this technique for many reasons. One, kids love to show off, and if they get it right it gives me an opportunity to praise them in front of their peers. But more importantly, this way I know who understands and who doesn’t. If a player shows me that he isn’t grasping the concept, I’ll move over to him and help him do what I want. It takes a little more effort to jog across the field and spend some time with a player who is struggling, but in the long run the effort you spend doing this will save you much more time and effort down the road.

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