Correcting errors made in competition
Previously, we looked at reinforcing previously applied skills. For part 2 we are going to look at correcting errors made in competition. This method is one that you have to be a little more careful with, as too many examples of your athlete making a mistake is likely to harm their confidence.
Remember: We don’t want to get too hung up on what they did wrong: we want to focus on what to do right going forward.
Once the problem has been pointed out, the next thing to do is to find the solution, and then train that solution repeatedly. You don’t break habits by just looking at the problem, but rather, by creating a new habit through practice.
Tip: Create a new coaching habit for yourself
Another practice that I have found helpful is to book a period of time every week to review a couple of your athletes’ matches. This weekly coaching habit keeps you in the practice of reviewing matches, and there are always little details you can find to improve upon. Allowing some time to go by after a tournament will take all emotion out of your review process, allowing you to be more objective, and thus do a better job.
As you review more matches by more of your athletes, you may even find patterns of mistakes made by your athletes. The necessary corrections can then be implemented on a large scale.
Reflect on this: Reviewing your athletes is in fact a form of self-assessment. Keep on top of your own coaching skills as part of your regular weekly routine.
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