Coaching Skill Sets

June 6, 2008

At Christmastime last year, I received Brian Grasso’s Complete Athlete Development program. For those that are unaware, he is the leader in the niche of youth fitness, and CAD is a comprehensive program he developed to share his expertise with trainers, coaches, and parents.

One thing I picked up from CAD was something called a “skill set”. A skill set is a method of coaching in which technical instruction is given to the trainee in a concise, layered manner. Basically instructions are very minimal and focus on the main points of an exercise or drill so that the trainee is told only what they need.

Now, I’ll admit I was skeptical about trying them out; I thought they were a great idea but I thought I had always been concise enough with my technical instructions.

This whole concept of “skill sets” has been burning in my mind for the past 2 or 3 weeks now. This is simply because sometimes I’ve managed to catch myself teaching an exercise or drill in a few too many words. I still think its fairly concise, but a) it could be a lot better and b) I end up saying things in different ways every time I say them.

This second point is the big one.

One of the reasons Brian developed skill sets as a method of teaching was because being consistent in how information is delivered to the trainee helped the trainee pick up and understand what the coach was saying that much easier.

It has really become clear to me that using this method of teaching will be more effective then running off a couple sentences plus some further clarification when the trainee looks at me like “What did you say Coach?” I don’t think this will be an easy thing to incorporate however as I’ll have to stay cognizant of how I’m giving technical instruction until this becomes habit.

Always room for improvement…



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