Are some athletes completely un-coachable? - 24th February 2016

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Are some athletes completely un-coachable? - 24th February 2016

FCN
Administrator

Hi Everyone,

This weeks topic is brought to you by friend of the FCN Carmen Pekkarinen - a Ringette and Ice-Hockey Coach from Finland.  

This week, we want to ask you - are there some athletes that are completely un-coachable and how do you deal with them?

* Are some athletes totally un-coachable?
* How do you deal with an un-coachable athlete?
* Have you ever asked an athlete / player to leave?
* Have you over come the un-coachable athlete and continued to coach them?
* Share your thoughts, stories and experiences with us via the forum or twitter.

We look forward to reading your thoughts!

FCN
Female Coaching Network
Administrator
info@femalecoachingnetwork.com
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Re: Are some athletes completely un-coachable? - 24th February 2016

CarmenP
I am really looking forward to reading what other coaches have to say about this. If anyone recognizes my name, I have posted here before regarding the 7-10 year-old ringette players I coach. Ringette is a sport for girls, played on ice - kind of like ice hockey, but different in many ways.

I'd like to comment on a couple of girls I deal with and wonder what the future will hold for them.

I am sure you will recognize the two personalities, "I can't do this" and "Yeah! Yeah! <ignores all advice given>

One girl has been playing ringette for 3-4 years and  I have pinned down why her skating technique is not improving. Every time we try to suggest to her how she can make it better and do better she nearly cries and says, "I can't." This is a kid whose older sister is a carbon copy - I also heard her say the same thing yesterday (and it was the first time I had ever met her). She has some self-esteem issues, I believe.

So, how do you deal with the crier? No matter what we do, she feels like she is being persecuted. If she could move past this and follow advice, she will actually be a good player - I really believe that. There are improvements in her play and I always try to emphasize that.

The second kid has also been playing 3-4 years is a kind of "know-it-all" and when given suggestions on how to improve, I get the "Yeah, yeah" - like she knows better than I do. Her mom is a helicopter parent (also helps out with the team). I actually don't even want to deal with this individual anymore because she *never* listens to what the coaches say to her or ask her to do in practices and games. This is a kid who I think will be uncoachable in the future.

They're young though and time may change things...

I'd like to read what other coaches think.
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Re: Are some athletes completely un-coachable? - 24th February 2016

CarmenP
I guess the other thing I should add here is that I am dealing with kids who speak a language that is not my own! I speak Finnish with them, but my mother tongue is English, which is an added challenge for me as a coach.
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Re: Are some athletes completely un-coachable? - 24th February 2016

Sarah
In reply to this post by CarmenP
Hi there,
Been here many times with all ages. The self confidence issue, and the crier.....here is what I have done in the past, not saying it is correct but I have had some success at primary, high school level. I have put these in charge of their own outcomes. For example opening the conversation with tell me what you do really well? If they say I don't know, I ask what they enjoy the most, then follow with the why and when. Once we then have established that they like a certain aspect over another, we (and it's always a collaboration) look at how they can 'enjoy it' more. Then I ask them to think of three ways that would make it more fun, or make them better. Once they have this control over the outcome the confidence grows. From there I then ask them to mentor another weaker player in that particular skill. It has never been an overnight thing and has taken in some cases months, but in the majority of cases this has worked. Good luck!
The other is the tougher of the two. The parent is quite possibly 'coaching' in the car....it's common in swimming. You teach them one way, parent tells them to do it another. In my experience it is a gently gently approach with very small bite size changes, things that they don't even realise are happening. I start with really small adjustments like eyes, hands then as they become more open move to more coachable areas. This is a really slow process, and keep them busy, making sure you reiterate something to them before they leave, they do a lot of thinking when they change! Or ask her to evaluate another player, and then evaluate herself against the evaluation....but this is tough!
Hope I have helped even a little x
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Re: Are some athletes completely un-coachable? - 24th February 2016

CarmenP
Hi Sarah, thanks for the tips - I will use some of these (i.e. What do you do well?)

I'm not actually coaching on the hockey side, but I do fill in when needed... My own kid plays hockey too and I should also remember that as a parent (who is on the bench, but not in a coaching capacity) that I should back off now and then and let the coaches do their work... Thanks also for that heads-up!

Lately we've had a visiting coach at our ringette practices working on skating technique and my kiddo comes up and asks, "Mommy, question." She's analyzing the way she is doing things, but is obviously seeking some answers. So that's kinda cool.