I spent last weekend being trained as an Empowering Coaching Tutor in Birmingham. This training encompasses both theory and evidence based practice in order to help coaches promote an optimal training environment. Similar to the concepts in which I have taught as part of my coach education, the empowering coaching is based on a long term research project: the PAPA Project.
I was pleased that I have been teaching similar psychology principles and applied the techniques within my own coaching practice. I believe coaches are very savvy when it comes to leading practices of psychical, technical and tactical components, but there is a lack of application of the psychology principles. Nevertheless, the Empowering Coaching Model allows coaches to understand the mental and motivational aspects which could not only enhance performance but the sporting experience of the athlete.
The critical and evaluative nature of sport can lead to drop out within youth athletes and it is known that by time youngsters get to 15 years old, there is a huge attrition rate.. The Empowering Coaching model is designed to promote long term enjoyment within sport. By creating a safe and fun learning environment is key, players are more likely to stay in sport. coaches should feel proud that they could play an important role in a child's life which could lead to long term participation.
Based on my own experience playing sport, and experiences of others whom I have worked with in performance psychology, I know how detrimental negative coaching practices can be. I believe it is our role as coaches, psychologists, as influencers to create the best possible environment for players to flourish and be the best they can possiblely be.
If you are interested in learning more about the Empowerint Coaching Model, feel free to contact me.
Tracy Donachie, MSc in Performance Psychology.