Peter Such's Coaching Philosophy
"My coaching philosophy has been formed through my experience and track record as both a sportsman and a coach (editor's note: see introduction to Peter Such). They have given me a unique insight into producing a top class performance as well as ensuring delivery of excellence through the coaching of elite performers. I am glad of the opportunity to share my coaching philosphy with you here.
Both coaching and management are measured by outcome, not process; however process does have a huge bearing on outcome. Through coaching and management there is an expectation to move people up to another level of performance. My belief is that better results are achieved by coaching a performance rather than managing one.
For me coaching is a two way process that focuses upward on the individual or the team with a view to making a difference through a structured process. In my experience the best results are achieved by coaches whose goal is to 'make themselves obselete'. Once an individual crosses the 'white line' or leaves your office they must be empowered to take responsibility for both themselves and their actions.
Coaching is the offering of information that will enable the performer to achieve better results, it is the responsibility of the performer to use this information to their advantage.
One of the first and the most important lesson I learned whilst Directing the Essex Cricket Academy was that to get the best out of individuals I had to adapt my coaching style so that it best suited the individual with whom I was working. This involved the development of rapport with each individual player before any coaching programme could be embarked upon. Without rapport you have no meaningful relationship and the basis of good rapport is trust, honesty and a mutual respect.
Any coaching process has to have a beginning and an end or outcome, these have to be established at the start of the process. It is a little like cars satellite navigational system, firstly it calibrates exactly where you are at that moment in time (the journey's beginning), then it establishes the destination and finally works out the route that you will be required to take. It is the same with any structured coaching intervention.
We used this approach with all our Academy players, firstly to get them to give a realistic appraisal of their abilities, then to get them to commit to a clearly defined goal and finally we would offer information as to how we might assist them in achieving this goal.
Realistic goal setting was encouraged, but high flying dreams were not discouraged. Belief is a moment in time, it is like a snow flake in the palm of your hand, there for a fleeting second, then gone. There is a greater chance of performing well with belief that having the deflating experience of being forced to modify your goals. As a coach in such situations we continue to encourage the individual, but are prepared to pick them up should they stumble in persuit of this goal.
Each personal coaching session was planned in advance by the individual, the performer took the lead fostering a culture of self reliance and responsibility through ownership. If you as coach set the goal and dictate the process then the individual has an 'easy out' if things go wrong by attributing blame to the externally set goal and inappropriate process.
As coaches we encouraged innovation and invention even if we believed the new methods probably wouldn't work realising that if the performer wanted the goal badly enough they would realise that their method was floored. After all who can forget the example of Dick Fosbury who revolutionised the high jump with the Fosbury Flop.
The last issue to deal with in developing and coaching an elite performance is the will or desire to succeed, because if you haven't got this as a performer you won't get the performance. As a coach this means that you will have to go back a few stages in the process to discover why this vital element is missing. Sadly if you can't find it you have to accept that you are working with the wrong individual and that their talents lie elsewhere.
If your organisation could benefit from applying Peter's skills, either through individual coaching, or through teaching your managers to be coaches, then contact Peter Such.