Is your touchline communication worth its while? #CLChat
Touchline Communication: How to get your coaching messages across
The fifth #CLChat took place on Sunday 6th November and created a flowing discussion with coaches from all domains contributing.
Mark Cairns acted as host again and started by posing the first question:
Are you touchline or in the stand? Is this due to choice or resource?
The chat begun with a split in responses. Some said the buzz and atmosphere from the touchline help increase perspective of the match, while others said having a higher vantage point was preferable. Some replies alluded to being hampered by circumstances. Jami Mulders, the Rio Olympics Bronze Medal winning coach, used the example of Danny Kerry who famously watched the majority of GB Hockey’s matches from the stands during Rio. A couple of responses highlighted the possibility of negative communication or body language having a detrimental effect on their players.
Did you know? We actually interviewed Danny Kerry last week.
2. What comms do you deliver during the match? Motivational or Tactical?
The second question of the night also received a mixture of opinions with most saying the individual situation needs to be judged and often is not as simple as black or white. The type of players being coached was highlighted as an important factor. Bruce Aitchison of Murrayfield Wanderers suggested technical ideas may need to be examined, while Neil Harris of Saracens Women contrasted this by saying few tactical or technical points are brought up during their matches. Matt Thompson, of the Coaches Corner, suggested a little data can support the motivational side of communication, but stressed improving strengths is more powerful than highlighting weaknesses.
3. Do you use any tech to help deliver your messages? Does it work?
Mark Cairns took the discussion down a slightly different path on question three and asked about the use of technology for communication. Jami introduced the idea of getting images of the match and showing these to the players through the use of a projector. Mark replied saying he will introduce this at Currie RFC. Chris liked the potential of this idea, developing it to getting players to take charge of some of the half-time break. Jami echoed that young players can be exposed to technology early and often they’ll learn quickest from it.
Whether it actually works created a more varied discussion. Having too many people carrying messages was mentioned as a common stumbling block. The players’ emotions also have a large bearing on how much information to provide the team with.
4. Would you consider or have you ever recorded your audio during a match?
The last question for the night approcahed the subject of audio and recording one’s self while coaching. Ben Cairns, Head Coach at Currie RFC, has been recording himself during the current season and will publish his findings at the end of the season. As it stands, he revealed his two main findings so far were more calmness and positivity with his touchline communication. Jami was another to have completed this and echoed Ben’s thoughts that there are multiple learnings to be made from recording audio while coaching.
Thanks to everyone who contributed. We’ll look to host the next one on the 20th November. Feel free to suggest a guest host or topic to us on Twitter! Click on the CLChat tag below to read previous round-ups. #CLChat