Which coaching style suits which personality?
In the previous article, we talked about the different types of learning and the different personalities of learning. As a coach, you want to find out what your player responds to best. Because this will make the player learn things faster. By finding out the learning style, you can adjust your teaching style to the specific player.
But let’s start with a basic overview of the three different teaching styles in general.
The three basic teaching styles
There’s a lot of models and different teaching styles out in the world. But in our eyes, there are three different teaching styles. Those are based on how you present the information to your player, these three are Direct, Discuss, and Delegate.
Direct teaching style
With this teaching style, you tell the player what to do and how to do it. The player learns through listening and following instructions.
As a coach, you can show the player through an example of how to do it and why it is good or bad. This style is authoritarian, you’re above the player and tell him what to do, without any room for discussion or interaction. This can be good when a player needs clarity, but in the long run, this style can lead to difficulties.
With this style, you must explain the why and how well. Otherwise, players won’t buy this. Several behavioral studies have shown that players learn best and are more motivated when they are included in the process.
Discuss teaching style
This teaching style is based on interaction. You as a coach ask questions to let the players conclude through their critical thinking. Think about the retention pyramid we talked about in the learning styles article. The discussing teaching style is the one we use most. In our sessions we discuss the different video clips and let the players conclude it themselves, we adjust and direct the discussion in such a way that we reach the right end conclusion.
We feel that this teaching style works best for individual video analysis. Also within this teaching style, there’s a lot of flexibility to tailor the way of teaching specifically to the player. There are different questions you can ask, you can ask why, how, what and when for example.
Delegate teaching style
This teaching style is based on action, you give the player an assignment and through this assignment, he will find out how to do the individual tactic.
We always try to give the players assignments for their next training sessions or matches to focus on.
There’s no one-fits-all to teach a player a new individual tactic. We even think that combining these three is the best way. Because with the different ways of teaching you touch the different ways of learning for players. Some players will need more of a direct teaching style and some need a more discuss teaching style.
How to tailor your teaching style specifically
After you find out how the player learns you can adjust your teaching style to get the most out of the session. There’s a lot of things that you can adjust as a coach to get the best possible learning stimulation for a player. By asking questions and observing the language and body language of players you find out what type of learner the player is. What types of questions does the player respond to best, what types of answers does the player give, which types of words does he use. There are very small cues in these answers. A player can for example only talk about the ball, the opponent, or maybe only his teammates. But also how do they look at their video clips. To read more about learning styles, read our previous article.
Think about the different learning personalities of Kolb we talked about earlier. An accommodator will give a lot of answers that are related to trying to do it in real life, the player will come up with different solutions to try out, these players might be a bit impatient and ask for example how you would do it. With this learning personality, it’s important to not go too fast. Don’t give in too easy by telling the player what to do, let him find out himself. It’s important here to ask the right question, but look out to not get the player too frustrated.
A diverger will break the individual tactic down into small pieces, wants to have a more detailed description, and will ask about all the details. These types of players often talk more. With this learning personality, it’s important to keep the focus on the main objective of the session and/or video. Don’t talk too much about unnecessary details, this will only distract more.
The assimilator will respond well to seeing the theory being substantiated by facts and good examples, this player might want to see a lot of situations to understand it. A difficult personality to convince, with this personality it’s important to have good arguments and be able to explain the why.
While a converger might be a bit quiet and think about it in his head, and all of a sudden it clicks. These players like theory, where they can think about. Ask these players a lot of questions, find out which types of questions he responds best to, which kind of sensory words he uses, and look at his body language. Once you find that out it will be easier to get the player to talk.
The Tactalyse teaching traject
As said we work mostly with the discussing teaching style. But we adjust this to the experience and the personality of a player. If a player is not so experienced with our way of working yet, we will guide the session more, by interfering and explaining more. But quite fast we want the players to take responsibility in sessions and let them do the talking.
Once the player has had more sessions and is more experienced with our way of working he will get guidance differently, we change the questions we ask. We will for example only tell him what we focus on at today’s session and then tell him which clip to watch (visual 20%). After that, we’ll let the player tell us what he sees (teaching others 90%). So here we go straight to the teaching others part because this will challenge the player more to problem solve himself and to think about the situation. Einstein once said: “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.
With this, we will understand quite fast how well a player understands an individual tactic. Because the better he can explain to us what he is doing good or bad, the better he understands it. That’s also a reason why we have coaches with different nationalities and thus talk different languages. Because we believe that by understanding the player in the best possible way as a person, we can teach him in the best possible way. All this starts with the language.