When we think of sports performance, we sometimes just think of the athlete. But coaches and organizations need to consider how to develop clear guidelines and policies for communicating with their athletes. This article helps to explain some best practices for doing so at the international level.
In this article written for non-profit organization Reaching Your Dream Foundation, I discuss this topic. The full article can be read here.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to share some of my knowledge as a keynote speaker at the 8th Annual More Than X's and O's Coaching Symposium. Hosted at Emporia State University, over 130 athletic directors, coaches, and coaching students attended from across the state of Kansas.
Speaking as a keynote can be a high pressure situation: you are the one expected to razzle and dazzle the audience, and sometimes that can be hard if it is a difficult topic. Such was the case for my first presentation, Making Sound Ethical Decisions. Not many coaches want to hear about the potential problems that might arise as they progress through their career. However, if they are unprepared to handle them, sometimes things go array. Just google "coaching scandal" and you'll see what I mean. I used some of my time to provide them with a step-by-step guide to resolving such situations.
The presentation was well-received and I spent much of my time explaining how to use cognitive interviewing, a technique used by law enforcement to acquire accurate data from witnesses. It is a useful method for finding out the truth in a situation that is not clear cut.
My second presentation, Using Goal Setting to Improve Sports Performance Over a Season, was much more practical, and focused on the do's and do nots of goal setting. We did a practical example, and explored the differences between task orientation and goal orientation. Finally, I discussed tanking, when an athlete deliberately slacks off when losing is imminent, and why it might happen.
One never knows how well a presentation went, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive multiple thank you emails today.
"Dr. Baghurst, I am both a coach and athletic director and the information you covered is very important to my coaches, players, and students. Thank you, for speaking at the workshop."
It is messages like these that motivate me to continue doing what I do!
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