Learn from the best, then make those ideas your own
By JOSH TAYLOR – Squash Mad Coaching Correspondent
Thieving other people’s knowledge. It’s not a new idea. In fact it’s one I stole from a recent tutoring workshop run by England Squash and Racketball.
It’s fair to say that coaching has evolved a lot over years when you compare its development alongside other sports; probably even more so over the last 10 years, with the investment and progression in sports science.
Having said that, there are only so many ways you can spin the wheel. In fact, I am close to saying all the best ideas have probably already been had; it’s finding them that count!
So what does that mean for us as coaches? I think if I look back at my development, and my on-going development in coaching, it’s been full of pinching and adapting ideas that I have picked up from others. Looking back, there are only a few things I would say I have truly honestly come up with myself.
On reflection, as a young player, I had many influences and many coaches. Here are just a few that I can remember that I siphoned ideas off! My first coach, and fall back on coach, has always been Kevin Emery. It’s fair to say he shaped a lot of my early ideas on coaching and I think his strength in working with people, alongside his way of shaping a lesson around the individual, is the overriding factor I have learned from him.
As a junior, I had quite a few small sessions with other coaches in the East Midlands, and my parents promoted this. From this I have learned elements of the game such as deception from Richard O’Connor, refining my volley and T control from Martin Gibson, and many great thoughts on the overall game, movement and how we hit the ball from Simon Taylor.
As I have got older and moved around a bit more, I have taken some ideas on technique and other areas of the game from the likes of John Tate, Chris Ryder and Rob Owen, all while at Birmingham University.
Since I have been spending more time coaching I haven’t stopped this development, and the help that England Squash and Racketball and people like Paul Carter have given me has allowed me to continue to do this! I fully aim to continue learning and stealing, whilst continuing to progress and keeping away from going stale.
Having said all that, I think the only thing that is very hard to steal, the one thing that has to be learnt is how to get these stolen ideas across, and how to adapt your methods to best suit the demands of your athletes. Now that’s an art, and one that takes the years of practice to develop!
So to conclude, I think it’s really important for us as coaches to get out there and continue to look for ideas, and feed off others.
Equally, I don’t see why we coaches shouldn’t be actively promoting our juniors and players to move around, so they can try to glean new ideas from others, which will in turn help us in this search for the next great idea on the game.
So, I think my message is fairly clear, go get looting guys!
ESR East Midlands Regional Lead Coach
Loughborough University Head Coach
Picture courtesy of www.squashskills.com