Overcoaching?

July 1, 2008

As a coach, my job is to motivate clients, teach and reinforce good exercise technique, and ensure a safe training environment. Now these are just what I do when I’m on the floor training, and the reason I brought them up is because of one small question:

Can I go too far??

That is can I do these things TOO MUCH??

I believe I can. It’s called overcoaching.

I believe this is especially easy to do with new athletes/clients. For example, I teach someone a new exercise that requires some technical proficiency (ie. teaching a deadlift), and I may give all the right instructions but they still are not able to perform a “perfect” rep in the first set. Is it helpful for me to continue to bark out all the instructions I mentioned, or should I watch them, say something minimal about a certain technical cue, and let them learn to feel the movement?

Provided the athlete isn’t doing anything dangerous, I think the latter option is the preferred one.

Now this does have some leeway depending on how new they are to training and like I said earlier, safety, but for the most part I believe less is more.

Overcoaching doesn’t allow their body to learn the movement; they learn to correct the movement because I cued it, not because it doesn’t feel right or look right in their own eyes. I don’t think that would make a very good coach.

CB

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