Learning is a choice

Learning is a choice, made by the learner not the teacher. Therefore,  a teacher should focus on what motivates others to learn; identify what sparks a learners curiosity rather than focusing on telling them what you already know.

It is easy to get the highly motivated player, the player who wants the same things you want to learn what you are teaching; but what about the majority of the players  you coach who aren’t this way how do you get them to learn?

Great coaches like great salespeople understand people don’t buy based on what you know; they buy based on what it can do for them.   Coaching success requires getting players to align their individual  interests with the vision you have set for the team and the players role on it.

Today’s player needs to believe before they will follow. This may be different from when todays coaches were players; they might have followed a coach before they believed. This shift is why generally today in coaching threats don’t work for long, and punishment doesn’t lead to buy-in. A relationship based on trust, transperency, open communications, and void of hidden agendas is vital to coaching success.  This type of relationship  enables a coach to identify what  motivates an individual  player and allows a player to  learn how, not told, to be successful within the framework of a team. 

Coaches and players need to stop making asssumptions about what the other is thinking and wants.  A coach needs to move out of dictating and demanding and move into the realm of dialoguing and discussing.  Please hear me I am not saying  a coach relinquish their voice in determining and upholding  the standards, philosophy, and values of their team.  What I am saying that a coach needs to understand the success of  the values, philosophy, standards they set  is depenendent on those charged with carrying them out.  It is dependent players learning and fully  buying into the vision and plan. The quickest and most effective path to that end  is to help players discover the benefit of adhering to it; and this requires a true relationship with players.  You can’t hold a player to a standard that they haven’t agreed to be held to.

Two final thoughts:

  •  No matter how talented a coach is and no matter how gifted a player or a team might be a coach can never push them into achieving their full potential.  The sad truth is that some players and some teams never achieve their full potential because they never discover what would motivate them to align their interests with what is needed to be the best they can be.
  • The best way to ensure someone believes is to let their buy-in be their decision.  The best way for a coach to do this is to engage in effective question and listening with their players.  If you have questions on how to go about this let me know and I would be happy to discuss this approach with you.
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