Core Practice 1 - Instruction

Deliver clear explanations, demonstrations, and instructions about techniques, tactics, and drills

Explaining and demonstrating are the basic ways a coach makes information accessible to athletes in training sessions and competitions. The information delivered might range from how to execute a drill to the rules of the sport to a technical movement. In each case, the coach clearly and explicitly describes - through a wide range of methods - what s/he wants accomplished.

For simple instructions or activities, the coach might rely on a verbal explanation. For more complex, multi-faceted instructions like an offensive play or a nuanced technical adjustment the coach might demonstrate, use a written or drawn instruction, use video, or do a simulation.

A coach might also demonstrate or model the activity by "thinking aloud" in front of athletes. For example, to help athletes understand how they would make tactical decisions, a coach might walk through an offensive set narrating, "I look for this pass, and if she's not open, I pass back to the wing."

For more kinesthetic skills or bio-mechanical concepts, a coach might use metaphors, analogies, or sensory description. In all cases, the coach's ability to deliver coherent, direct, accessible information, both planned and improvisational, is essential to effective training sessions and athletic growth.