I recently had to write my coaching philosophy and I thought some of you might be interested in reading it.
Melissa Harms - Throws Coaching Philosophies
Success in the throwing events, as most athletics, requires careful attention to detail, a firm understanding of fundamentals, and an ability to execute those fundamentals under a great deal of pressure time and time again. Once basic fundamentals are understood, the focus should become executing them with more speed and power.
I expect the athletes I coach address their weaknesses while capitalizing on their strengths. In order to accomplish this, an athlete must be able to covert constructive criticism into kinetic performance. In addition to being coachable, the athlete should have some ability to self-coach, being honest with themselves about their performances, for instance not being too hard on themselves or too forgiving of themselves.
A strong work ethic is an athlete’s greatest talent whether it in physical training or mental preparation. There is no substitute for hard work. I absolutely believe that the difficulty of the throws is what makes them great. The harder the task is to accomplish, the greater sense of fulfillment when the task is completed successfully.
Athletes should have a deep understanding of what it is they hope to accomplish and benchmark goals to help them take the steps necessary to reaching their athletic dream. The athletes should be extremely confident about their ability to reach these benchmark goals. “Inch by inch it’s a cinch, yard by yard it’s hard.”
The coach is the athlete’s guide through his or her career. The coach provides a path that enables the athlete to take responsibility of his or her athletic performances. The coach prepares the athlete to feel confident to demonstrate an internal locus of control in a wide variety of circumstances as they arise, both in competition and in life.
Athletes should live their lives they way they want to compete. There are inches to be gained in the throws from life. Living responsible outside of athletics allows one to become successful within athletics. This includes good sleeping routines, proper nutrition, and an elimination of stressful situations that may take focus off an athlete’s ultimate goals.
I believe that coaching is teaching in its most pure form. The coach and the athlete alike share the responsibility of observing, listening, and providing feedback. The stronger the bond of communication between coach and athlete, the faster the athlete will progress. I have high expectations of everyone I coach and I expect they have high expectations of me as well.
If coaching is teaching in it’s most pure form, then the athlete is the student. Students should not just learn in the classroom (the field.) To fully understand a discipline, one must study outside the teacher’s instruction. Do their homework. This includes things like watching film taken during practices and competitions as well as watching others who have a better sense of the event. One must train their mind with as much vigor as one trains their body. Success in one area is directly proportional to success in the other.
Finally, the time and effort one puts into his or her endeavors should be done with joy. Athletics ask much from those who participate in them at any level, be it coaches, beginning players, or experienced professionals. Each should participate because they love it. Players and coaches who love what they do, are responsible for their role, and dedicated to relentlessly pursuing their goals are those who will achieve them.