Over the last
So how can you see through the BS and decide whether the coach you’re about to put your trust in as an athlete, has what it takes to develop your performance? Importantly, how can you be sure they can do so safely and efficiently?
The fundamental difference between an average coach and a great coach is not necessarily their expert knowledge or the nature of their client base, but the ability to see and understand the big picture and then translate that into a plan, which includes disciplined effort and extensive ‘teaching’.
So what is the big picture? The big picture is about far more than the immediate stated or obvious needs of the athlete. It’s about more than what happens in the gym. It’s about far more than simply strength, power or any other gain that can be made. Often, gains made through a focus on just the immediate needs are made at significant losses down the track.
Not only will a great coach have
There are certain characteristics that determine the great coach.
- Character and commitment: to the field of expertise and developing knowledge, the business and most importantly the athletes.
- A sense of discipline: show up, no matter what. There are no short cuts.
- Consistency: provide objective support, always focusing on the plan.
- Excellent communication: don’t hide behind jargon, recognise that there are many ways to teach and that the job is to develop the athlete, not impress them.
· Plan every detail, based on a strong, guiding philosophy
· Motivate through genuine care and command attention and commitment from their athletes
· Understand the game and their athletes and how to teach both
· Are credible but don’t chase credibility
· Have passion and are always positive
· Set clear expectations and give all required support for the athlete to achieve them
· Put their ego and emotion aside at all times
So you can see, knowledge and experience, while clearly important, are not enough to be a great coach. It takes something from within, something that requires a degree of selflessness. A combination of this “attitude” and knowledge, along with experience, makes for a formidable partner for any athlete aiming to develop their performance.
Darren Rowland joined ESS in 2013 after being accepted as one of twelve interns in the ESS Coaching Mentorship Program. Darren showed great enthusiasm and promise as a coach and after successfully completing the twelve month internship, secured the role of Assistant Coach for the ESS Athlete Development Program.
In 2014, Darren was appointed a full time role as Strength and Conditioning Coach for ESS and was promoted in 2015 to a Senior Coaching Position working alongside the Head of High Performance for the Athlete Development Program. Currently Darren manages the AFL, cricket, fencing, and snow sports programs together with assisting high grade motorsport and athletics programs. Combining the knowledge gained through his education background, with his practical experience and expertise as a coach, Darren takes a strong approach to biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor control as well as exercise rehabilitation. Darren is committed to ensuring his knowledge and practices are cutting edge by regularly keeping up to date with the scientific literature and continuing education programs. His commitment to continued self-development as a coach ensures he is at the forefront of performance programming for athletes. This commitment has enabled Darren to work with an extensive list of athletes from grass roots level to national and international representatives.