Being a coach, like anything else, is a
matter of "wearing a different hat." It is not the same thing as being a
parent, a fan or a role model. The coach has responsibilities beyond
these. In order to fill them he will have his own views and they will be
filtered through his "coaching glasses," a set of assumptions about the
children, the game, coaching and his role in the process.
They will either be active, i.e. curious, wanting to figure
things out on their own, possibly stubborn, willing to learn through trial
and error, needing to find their own answers to problems. Or they will be
passive, simply vessels that have to be filled with the correct
answers to all of their problems. Willing to accept the adult views as
correct and subordinate their own to it.
The vision of how the game should be played. Listen to the words that the
coach uses regularly, hustle, pressure, go, kick it long and a picture
will emerge of what the coach values in the game. Is it a player's game or
the coaches game? Is a controlled build-up
preferred to a quick counter
attack? Will the team defend in the opponents half or drop back into
The coach can teach by leading, i.e. giving instructions, controlling,
being at the centre of the activity and always having the answer. Or he
can guide by offering ideas in place of answers, encouragement for the
players to try their own solutions, covert instead of overt direction.
How do children learn best? By learning the parts and then applying them
to the whole? Or, by learning the whole and letting the parts take care of
themselves? These questions are the focus of numerous books on childhood
education and bring as much debate as how the game should be played.
Effective coaching is similar to being
an effective doctor. First is the ability to
diagnose the ailment. Next is the ability to
prescribe the correct treatment. Finally, how to modify
the treatment as the patient improves.
The important point in this model is that
the different frames in the "coaching glasses" should support one another.
Passive children won't respond to a guiding coach. They'll both wait for
the other to take initiative. In the Dutch Vision
the children are active, the coach guides,
the game is centred around the player's and they learn best by playing the
with thanks to