Everything should be made as simple as possible, and no simpler.
— Albert Einstein
As coaches the simpler we can make things the easier it is for players to understand the priority. Too often we think that effective equals complex, that simple equals inferior. Yet so much evidence points to the opposite. The success and the relentless pursuit of simple by Google serves as a prime example in the business world. The benefit of the pursuit of simple is also applicable in athletics, the most successful coaches are the ones who make the game simplest for their athletes and teams.
The challenge for coaches is to seek out honest feedback on the simplicity of their teaching. As coaches it is hard to identify our own weakness in keeping our teaching simple and most effective without outside feedback. Yes it takes courage to invite someone in to evaluate our teaching and help us to be our best, but isn’t this what we are trying to do for our players. Also, this process doesn’t have to be a painful experience either. An effective coach of coaches understands the best approach is to ask questions that lead to self-awareness as that is the quickest path to lasting and effective change in behaviors.
Common pitfalls that lead to complexity in our coaching can be:
- A coaches own lack of clarity on what are those truly vital priorities to success in their system. Due to uncertainty or not having spent the time to ask themselves the question
- Falling back on doing things that were done to us and teach the way we were taught
- Feeling the pressure to make things more complex to justify their position