We all have our critical items in our coaching bag: a phone, a stopwatch, likely a ledger with your plan, some flip-flops, and then various highlighters, pens and paraphernalia. (And a face mask!) There is one more thing you need at every session.
Before I reveal the last item, follow this hypothetical story;
You have been exceptionally busy in your working day and now you rush to the pool, probably a little late due to slow traffic.
In the back of your mind you have a good idea of the drills you want to do based on your plan but you are considering options as you arrive late.
As you barge past people in the pool entrance, who are slowing your route to poolside to try to ask you an inane question, purposefully ignoring some them, and finally you rummage through your bag looking for your stopwatch and whiteboard markers. You’re still thinking about some things you’d like to get done at this session.
Your start to the training session is by shouting at the stragglers who didn’t get in the water on your first command. Finally everyone is swimming except for the one or two having swim cap or goggle issues.
What did you not bring out to make this training session productive?
You’ve already lost your coaching productivity. You’ve got everything you need but because your sour face, (or more eloquently; your resting bitch face) switched off every child. Your body language and frown says: ‘I’m angry’!
What needs to be in your coaching bag of tricks? A smile. Bring a smile to your sessions.
If you set up a feeling of negativity around you, swimmers won’t like you. They won’t want to impress you to get praise or want to talk to you. Your coaching bag is empty without a smile. If your face and body language says; I’m unapproachable then you will get nothing back.
Success will be achieved more easily with swimmers who love being at the pool because you are fun to be around.
For those with a face-covering a big hurdle to try to overcome is smiling with a face covering. But you can always say things that are positive and saying your are happy to see the team.