As I have stated in past posts, it is not just important WHAT you say but HOW you say it.
Continuing along that line, it is also important HOW LONG it takes you to say something.
As Americans it seems like BIGGER is ALWAYS better. Why should we give a correction in 5 or 6 words if we can use 50 or 60 words!
In my COACHES AS EDUCATORS lecture I talk about this being so important. Coaches are filling kids with SO much information that it is difficult for the athlete to process. They then go ON and ON and ON with a 50 second correction that could be done in 10 seconds or less. As a general rule, if you take an athletes AGE- you have that many seconds to give them a correction. I know this is an over simplification but you get the idea.
Today I was reading Functional Path Training Blog and he had a great example.
Communicating the Message
Regardless of the message you have a very small window to communicate the message in a meaningful way so that the person receiving the message with get it. I was reminded of this this morning at mass when the priest missed a golden opportunity to get his message across. His theme was love. Instead of making his point he used way too many analogies and mixed metaphors and droned on for fifteen minutes. He lost me! As I was driving home and reflecting on this I could not help but relate it to coaching. Effective coaching is all about communication. How many coaches do what the priest did this morning? How many coaches talk just to hear themselves talk? We get away with it because we have a captive audience, but is it best, is it effective? Know what you are going to say. Say it wit appropriate inflection and emotion. Get the point across. Short, sharp clear on point, don’t belabor the point. Follow the example of the great John Wooden who rarely spoke more that twenty to thirty seconds during practice. The majority of what he said was instructional. Speak in phrases, short and to the point that emphasizes instruction and action words.
Keep it Short, Keep it Simple. Your athletes want you to be quick and concise with your corrections. In Coaching Commandments, I wrote about DR. Joe and Sue Massimo research of what your gymnasts wants out of you. # 3 on the list was minimum verbiage.