Coach and the coached – avoiding ‘Angry Coach Syndrome’


and the coached – avoiding ‘Angry Coach Syndrome’

Many a capable sailor has attempted the transition from ‘expert’
to instructor/coach, and foundered when other’s ‘just don’t
get’ what has come so naturally to them. The risk is that the
coach’s frustration undermines the pupil and stories of ‘angry’
coaches abound.

This is particularly relevant to coaching kids where maintaining control
can test our best intentions to the limit. Instructing and coaching
science have evolved beyond ‘common sense’ and unless someone has had
particular introduction to the theory they can’t be expected to know
it. Do you have what it takes? – the question of ‘orientation’.

Coaching theory derives from principles of learning identified as different
for adults and children. Whereas adults do learn from explanations,
kids learn almost entirely by experimenting, or by ‘doing’.
It is therefore more important to facilitate maximum ‘trialing’
than to lecture. (Let them “muck about in boats”) The temptation
to critique performance should be resisted when coaching kids, or beginners
of all ages for that matter. This can be difficult for anyone attracted
to coaching to showcase his or her own ‘brilliance’, but
it is more undermining than we realize.