A Coach Is No Better Than A Measuring Tape

Frans Bosch made this statement at the recent UKSCA conference and whilst I'm not going to go into the detail of his rationale it essentially focused on the fact that the "body is only interested in the result". What we say as coaches has very little impact on performance outcome. Give the body a target and it's pretty good at working out the most effective way of achieving that goal.

I think he has a point, although I would add that as a coach there are many ways to communicate, so don't rush off and stop talking to your athletes!

However,  this morning I had a real life example of what Frans was driving at. I was coaching one of my clients and we were working on the Jerk. We had some issues with foot placement and whilst I had explained several times what I wanted to see in terms of foot placement I still wasn't seeing the desired outcome. Her lead foot was still crossing her mid-line and creating an unstable finishing position.

Here's what I did (meet my new coach - he's cheap and never gives me any problems...bit messy but I can live with that!). I drew a cross on the floor (it kills me to do this as I'm a clean freak and love nothing more than a nice tidy facility, but hey I'll live with a chalk cross on the floor!).

I stood the client on the cross and explained that I just wanted her feet to split front and back. Her left foot would hit the front left quadrant and her right foot would hit the back right quadrant. Guess what happened. She nailed her technique every time hitting the points that I wanted her to. No more crossing over! Her improved technique resulted in a better execution of the lift. I didn't have to say a word, the cross on the floor was doing all the work for me.

This is not a new coaching strategy but it did make me reflect back on what Frans Bosch was saying during his keynote presentation at the UKSCA conference. All of my coaching skills were actually no better than a chalk cross drawn on a lifting platform!!

Maybe Frans Bosch does know a thing or two!!!