Increasingly, it seems to me that sportsmen and women are being told what to do by coaches from the sidelines while a game is being played, or perhaps by the water carrier who goes on the pitch to tell players what to do next. This suggests that players are not trusted to manage their own performance. Surely, players in any sport should be encouraged to make decisions, assume responsibility and to be accountable for what they do. With this in mind, Brian Ashton and I are developing ideas on ‘Coaching sport to develop leaders’. We believe that a change in teaching and coaching style from schooldays onward is necessary so that game understanding is seen to be as important as skill development and that those being coached should be given more say in practice. As Brian says, leadership in sport begins in the primary school playground, when youngsters select their own teams, design the playing area and also make decisions without a referee. We then spend the next 20 years taking this away from them!
Our activity in coaching to develop leaders will involve the likes of Kevin Bowring, Andy Flower and David Whitaker.

What do you think? Let us know.
Bob Reeves


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