Posted at 6:00am -- 8/6/2011 GBMWolverine: Coach's Corner -- Michigan ..."/> Posted at 6:00am -- 8/6/2011 GBMWolverine: Coach's Corner -- Michigan ..."/>

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Defining the Broad Construct that is Coaching and Denoting its Nature


Posted at 6:00am — 8/6/2011

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Defining the Broad Construct that is Coaching and Denoting its Nature

When society was much simpler, thousands could be asked to define coaching and a few basic and obvious concepts would have been put forward, such being a leader and taking charge, working athletes with little mercy, and through motivation, savvy, and pure will power, lead a team to victory. As with society, the tenets of coaching have become broader and more intricate, perhaps even mystified.

Coaching is now broadly interspersed throughout society and nested within endeavors other than sports, such as teaching, social work, and especially successful business management models. Coaching probably started with the wise elders teaching the young ones the way of life and how to get ahead and make it in the world. To this degree or standard, little has changed.

Here is offered a reasonable operational definition for coaching that is somewhat different from the lexical dictionary definition. Coaching is the use of collective attributes, behaviors, and strategies by the practitioner (the coach) that provides benefit by raising the performance level for an identified objective or goal, whatever the nature of the task may be. In common life this may equate to more foul shots being made, more spelling words spelled correctly, a dramatic increase in cell phone sales after a training session, or more wins on the athletic field of endeavor.

What was once called training in the job arena is more frequently being termed coaching. The business world pays thousands of dollars to successful managers, many of which are legendary sports coaches, to either provide a keynote address for salesmen and corporate types that must work together or collaborate in building a training model grounded in coaching basics that match the massive adult learning underlying literature base.

So, who coaches besides athletic coaches and business world personnel? The simple answer is everyone to some degree. By technical definition, a five year old who spends half an hour teaching a four year old how to tie a shoestring through step-by-step practice, auditory instructions, visual modeling, and repetition has just practiced coaching. Parents coach everyday, even nagging counts, teachers certainly coach, friends coach others in time of need, and so on throughout everyday society.

A coach is a trusted guide whose advice and strategies in everyday life can be accepted or rejected by the advisee. In the world of sports and in modern business, a greater adherence to the stated goals, strategies, and methods expressed by coaching is expected.

Historically, coaching models have sometimes been thought to be rigid and critical of those with creative/alternative thinking and behavior. There is a pragmatic side to rigidity as it is dysfunctional to have 11 different points of view and methods when running a simple football play. There must be one common plan and one common execution for success. In the business world the outside the box, lateral thinker is highly valued. This type of thinker may come up with the one idea that counts the most out of hundreds presented by others.

In sports, coaches have leaders, usually seniors, who are referred to as coaches on the field (or floor). These trusted few are given the latitude to think a little on their own a little and make the big play. An example may be a free safety remembering that two years ago he identified a key that led to an opposing pass play that went for big yardage. He gambles and jumps the route for the game changing interception.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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