Coaching Tip #42

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42 - models.jpg

Tagged – Coaching Practice, Practice ManagementPlayer Development





These are the things you will hear every day in thousands of gyms all over the world as coaches provide the vital feedback that drives change and is necessary for improvement. Like so many things coaches do with the best of intentions the effect of this feedback is limited.  This feedback only has meaning when compared to the previous action.  The player cannot use this feedback again in the future.  And could even correctly use this feedback and end up further from the desired goal.

For more effective feedback use the same key words repeatedly, and use a template, or reference point or model of the activity.  So instead of relative terms, refer to the template.  Instead of ‘pass higher’, say ‘make the setter jump’ or ‘set through the target’ or ‘jump maximally’ or ‘swing early’ or whatever the case may be.

Be aware of relative feedback, focus on using models of the desired action.

The collection of Coaching Tips can be found here.

Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.Cover v2



  1. Your premise is reasonable in theory but I’m not convinced your examples stack up. Is “swing early” really more useful than “swing earlier”? The second suggestion moves the player in a direction. The first suggests an absolute without reference points… without discernment… without connection to the unique needs of any given situation. And it assumes the player is conscious of what the absolute (that you are asking for) looks or feels like.
    Relative feedback in the midst of a specific context can move a player towards a deeper and more precise understanding of what is required – an understanding that IS generalisable and definitely useful in future situations.
    What you say is true only if you seek to coach based purely on technical principles and this will leave much individual potential untapped within the learning journey.


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