The title of this article comes from my interactions with Raymond Verheijen and the World Football Academy. I wrote about Raymond before and how he has influenced me as a coach but after the World Football Academy expert meeting, which took place from June 6-12th, 2016 I felt compelled to start over in my coaching. Like other football/soccer coaches, I embrace learning new exercises, terms, and ideas to improve my abilities to increase the performance of players and teams I train. As we age, experience seems to be the main criteria of why coaches feel as if they know how to accomplish this task. However, Raymond has proven this theory incorrect and has shown me that this becomes the starting point for coaches when teaching the game, subjective opinion. I initially set out to understand Raymond’s work in fitness periodization and how to implement these concepts within training sessions and the annual team schedule. This journey began when I first heard of Raymond’s work in 2007. Since that time, with persistence and the expansion of the Internet I was given the opportunity to attend one of the most influential coaching education meetings of my life.
There is a ubiquitous thinking amongst coaches that experience justifies certain teaching methods or entitles coaches to pass on knowledge based on this experience. The problem with this justification is it suppresses the conscious thinking of a coach which is the area used for critical thinking and analyzing. Experienced coaches tend to utilize the subconscious thinking, “This is how I train this, or this is how I have always done this.” What you see from these two statements are the subjective opinions of the coach, and this continues to be a problem in teaching. When these beliefs/opinions are challenged by others or better yet subordinates within a coaching team, negative emotions bubble to the surface and subjective chaos ensues. The best take away from my time at the 2016 WFA expert meeting is that each and every day I must tap into my conscious thinking and theorize situations to improve as a coach. I also must find individuals that are willing to show me the mirror from an objective point of view, which tests my emotional responses and provides opportunities to articulate my objective references. So I am going to continue to work on being more of an Einstein for sure: if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough.
Let’s see how it goes…stay tuned.
Thanks again Raymond,