Remote coaching tips from the pros

2020-04-17 News, Technology
Coaching your team in Corona times

It’s difficult to be an effective leader during these tough times. Spiideo talked to remote coaches around the world to get their best coaching tips on how to lead and maintain a healthy and motivated sports team during quarantine. Here are a couple of the tips we got.

1. Overemphasize communication

You can be the best coach in the world in real life, but still lack the ability to communicate with your athletes. Now that you coach remotely, communication is of even bigger importance. Be transparent, concise, honest and know when to communicate with your athlete. Keep things simple. Make sure to match the athlete’s experience with the correct level of information. While less experienced athletes require more communication, they will need less complexity. More experienced athletes require more advanced training detail and information. Make sure that the amount of communication matches the athletes you’re talking to.

2. Keep the team spirit alive

You and your team are now physically apart but it’s important to continue functioning and performing as a team. Set up online trainings with the whole team. If possible, continue training the same time you normally do to keep the normal routine. During the training it’s good for the team spirit that the players get to complete tasks individually, but make them compete against each other. Make extra time for feedback as a group and set aside time for socializing between the players to stimulate the feeling of being a team. 

3. Put more focus on the individual player

In a normal situation you probably won’t always have time to give individual feedback to every player, but it’s now more important than ever. Some players will naturally be more isolated than others during quarantine. Normally you would spot the emotional state a player is in during the walk on and off the field. In a group setting online it’s more difficult to spot. That’s why it’s important to set up extra online time with individual players. Make time for this and schedule it in with everyone. It might cost a lot of time now, but will be beneficial to the whole team once everything is back to normal. During a one-on-one chat with your player, try to dig deeper. If it comes naturally ask about their families and personal situation. Do they talk to someone regularly? Who? This way you can spot the vulnerable player that might need some extra support in order not to get demotivated. During offline time, ask players to fill in questionnaires and the results of the tests in apps you use for individual training. Compile all data to follow and measure the players and their state of form. 

4. Use remote coaching tools

There are several free apps that you can use together with your team and players for remote training and coaching. Also, if your team uses Spiideo, you can take advantage of the built in mobile recording (from your iPhone/iPad directly into the Spiideo system) and the sharing functionality. This will enable you to analyse your players, provide feedback and have a discussion with your team or individual players from home. Beside the possibilities Spiideo video analysis offers, there are several apps perfectly suited for training online. One is Techne Futbol that gives you unlimited access to guided soccer drills. TopYa! Soccer, is another virtual coaching app well suited for Soccer, Lacrosse or Volleyball. Another one, Famer, is an interactive sports coaching, training, and mentorship platform. HomeCourt is an app that is used for coaching basketball. Naturally, it’s equally important to measure the player by using tools such as a heart rate monitor, power meter, GPS watch, etc. Trainingpeaks is an online platform that creates a data library about your athletes training. These tools are just a few of the once well suited for coaching remotely. 

5. Focus on the positive part of remote coaching

It’s a confusing and chaotic time, but try to stay focussed on the positive aspects of doing everything online. Probably the best and greatest advantage online coaching has over in-person coaching is a more open door policy to getting in touch with your player or vice-versa. Another benefit of coaching remotely is that you will have time to dig deeper into that part of coaching you normally never have time for. One coach we spoke to is doing a lot of research to understand data better. He has deepened his knowledge by reading books such as “Big Football Data” by Christoph Biermann. Another thing you now have time for is going back to look at old games and more in-depth analyse the team dynamic. Now is also the time to build relationships with people you haven’t met in person. Since a lot of people are in the same situation as you, it’s much easier to reach out to people that would be beneficial to your coaching. Ultimately, the quarantine will be over so it’s also good to prepare for what will come.