I love coaching people.
I love the impact our words have on the outcome of an individual’s movement.
I love the environment we help foster to create savage human beings.
If you are reading this blog, my guess is you feel the same.
So 3 years ago, I realized I was making a vital mistake that was impacting the outcome of my coaching.
I spoke too much during the action of the session.
Let me explain.
As the Performance Coach leading the session, we are the experts. We know the plan for the day, how to execute the movements, the regressions and progressions to execute on. We know it all.
The obstacle is that we are too close to the information. We love it.
When I say I was speaking too much, I was making an easy-to-do error. When the athlete would do their run, their cut, their lift, I would start yelling out coaching cues.
What happened was as the athlete was focusing their external drive on the action I wanted them to implement, they were trying to internally process the cues I was yelling at the same time.
What I ended up getting was a bunch of confused athletes giving 50% effort (at best…).
So, here’s what I did to remedy the situation.
The 3-2-1 method to shut up and let your athletes work
3 is the number of key non-negotiables that need to happen. These were outlined in the mechanical work, or prep work, we would do before the meat and potatoes of our training session.
2 is representative of the 1 external cue + 1 internal cue I would layer in to the three non-negotiables above.
1 is the easiest application, or drill, we could do to get the most out of the information presented.
In action, it looks like this.
3 maximum speed non-negotiables: Posture, front side lift, toes up
2 total cues: Internal – lift your knee high. External- stare at the horizon in front of you
1 easy application: A March with an emphasis on leg recovery.
At this point, I would bite my tongue so that I wouldn’t say anything as the athlete’s performed their A Marches.
You see, Coach, if we have a process to deliver the information, we are effectively setting our athletes up for success. What we often fail to realize is that most athletes learn by doing.
We must show them.
We must tell them.
Then we have to shut up and let them do it themselves.
As they do it themselves, we need to be mindful that we are not saturating their feedback loop with outside noise.
So the next time you catch yourself talking too much, think 3-2-1 in your session planning. This will help you avoid my biggest mistake.
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About the Author: Casey Lee
Casey Lee, Parisi Training Systems Director of Education and Coaching, has been in the Parisi Network since 2011. In October of 2014, Casey was awarded Parisi Performance Coach of the Year, a national award with an applicant pool of 450+ coaches. He has had one of the fastest tracks of any Performance Coach, becoming the youngest Master Coach in the Parisi network from 2014-2017. During this time he provided sports performance programming and educational content throughout the entire Parisi network.
Prior to joining the Parisi HQ Team, He was the Program Director at the affiliate location in Burlington, Vermont for 7 years. Casey brings a variety of experience in coaching systems, business integrations, and youth athletic development.