The Art of Coaching

The Art of Coaching

Training Insights

While coaching combines art and science, its true essence lies in fostering self-reflection and exploration in athletes, emphasising human connection over structured plans.

Is coaching an art or a science?

Well it’s both, but the performance and execution will always will be an art to me. It’s not about instruction, it’s about asking the right questions. Those questions direct people back in towards themselves for the answer.

The enquiry is more powerful than the answer or the instruction of the coach. You have to get the athletes to explore the situation and their experience in it so they can learn to resource themselves when it counts most, when the pressure is on and they are alone with it.

In our sport, much of the focus is on the structure, the program and the plan. But that’s not where the juice is. The juice is with the human connection, the interaction, the sharing of knowledge and then the understanding of the application as an experience.

Because regardless of what happens with technology, that is always what it will be.

Woman triathlete in wetsuit open water swimming
Photo by Susan Flynn / Unsplash

To me it’s a communication and a reverence for the art. It is art, a performance on a stage of sorts. You are the actor and the race is the stage!

The script is essential, that’s a given, but the script falls as flat as a pancake if the actor fails to act. If we read that script in a monotone, it’s not much of a performance.

Every actor's potential in the performance lies in their ability to bring forth more of themselves, not more of the script.

If you repeat the script like a parrot, then the outcome is predictable for sure, but it will be seriously lacking in the flavour the actor brings to the stage.

If the deeper questions haven’t been asked in rehearsal, then the actor won’t have the deeper answers when the performance needs a response not a reaction.

May coaching always remain an art.