It would be nice if there were some magic formula to be a great coach, but there is not. Today we look at what some call the 70% rule of coaching. Meaning, you should spend 70% of your practice time building off what a player or team does well. Opposed to spending 70% of your time working on the things you think they are not doing well.
The majority of coaches spend a lot of their time trying to “fix” something. Be it with a player and or their team as a whole. Often this is not the best approach. Practice time is limited, so what you do in that limited time is very important.
Let’s say there is a two-hour practice, and let’s assume that at least 30 minutes of the practice players are warming up and doing some brief chalk talk. That leaves you with 90 minutes remaining. Now, if we spend the next hour covering the things that the team does wrong or what an individual does wrong, we are left with only 30 minutes. That means we have spent the majority of the practice letting or players know they are failing at something. What if there was a balance, and we dedicated equal time to addressing weakness and the same time to improving a team or player’s strength?
Spending the majority of time on weaknesses does not raise the overall bar. It brings the bottom up but does not increase the bar on what a player or team can do. It is essential to have a balance in training and try to spend an equal amount of training time on both.
Growing a player’s strength can also help them feel better about where they are as a player. The reason being you are reinforcing the positive things they do. The last thing you want to do is leave a practice, with your players believing that they make so many mistakes; winning isn’t even a reality. Player’s become hyperfocused on the things they do not do well, and less focused on their strengths. That type of mindset can result in the bar dropping on those skills they excel in. Having a plan for practice can help ensure that each area gets the proper amount of attention. The idea is not earth-shattering information, but it is a simple approach that can provide significant results.