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In-Person Coaching Sessions: Top 3 Best Practices

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At CoachNow, we believe in the power of leveraging technology to become a better skill coach.

Last week, we gave you the first piece of that puzzle: 3 Best Practices for Remote Coaching.

BUT, while remote coaching can be a powerful tool, nothing quite replaces an in-person session with your athletes. That’s why we advocate for a coaching model that incorporates BOTH live sessions AND Asynchronous/ Remote feedback and communication to ensure momentum.

However, if you’re using CoachNow, the WAY you conduct your in person sessions should differ from how they were conducted before technology dominated the industry.

Gone are the days of wasted time repeating drills from the previous week and correcting the mistakes that were reinforced through incorrect practicing.

Through the use of CoachNow, your in person sessions should be much more efficient, since you’ll know where the athlete needs help BEFORE the session even begins.

This post is all about how to optimize your in-person sessions to maximize your time with your athletes, expedite their improvement, and help them perform at their best (all while minimizing your workload).

Let’s get to it! Here are my 3 Best Practices for in-person sessions.

1. Capture and Post Within the Athlete Space DURING the Session

CoachNow shouldn’t JUST be used for remote coaching.

During a live session, capture, document and share key coaching moments directly within the athlete's Space as they happen.

This practice not only streamlines the coaching process but also documents the session in a way that is tangible and referenceable when they are practicing on their own.

The result? Your athlete’s have exactly what they need to practice as soon as they leave the session. And, because they have documentation on what was covered, they are less likely to need additional guidance from you during the week.

Plus, if you get in the habit of posting while you’re together, that means you’ll no longer need to spend time later in the day recapping what you covered in the session.

In other words, when your session is done, you’re done. No need to add additional work for yourself when it can all be done while you’re “on the clock”.

Trust me. This will save you tons of time.

Check out this blog to learn our best practices for posting in CoachNow.

2. Harness the Benefits of In-Person Video Analysis.

There are added benefits to doing analysis In person with your athletes that you may not have considered.

Expanding on the previous section, you should be leveraging CoachNow’s video tools in your posts to capture key moments.

“Key moments” is an important caveat there. You don’t want to capture every swing, move, or drill. Aim to have a few, short clips that are easy to rewatch and remind your athlete exactly what they should be doing.

And these clips shouldn’t JUST be movements or analyses. Keep the camera rolling before and after these actions to build greater context around that coaching moment.

For example, have you tried asking your athletes to explain their thoughts before and/or after a drill on video?

Capturing your question and their reply in a short video adds a whole new layer of depth to your clips.

This practice not only aids in immediate understanding but also in long-term retention. You add a dimension of how they felt during a key learning moment, which they can relive every time they watch the video.

I also recommend doing recording analyses with your athlete watching.

Make comments and ask questions as you watch the video, and SHOW them what you’re seeing. This exercise encourages athletes to engage actively with their learning process, and leads to those invaluable "ah-ha" moments.

To sum this section up: videos aren’t just for analyzing – they are crucial for creating a memorable narrative of the session.

Give it a try!

3. Recap the Session and Set Clear Expectations

The end of each coaching session is an opportunity to crystallize key learnings and set the stage for maximum progress between coaching sessions.

You’ve heard me say this before.. But I HIGHLY recommend two succinct video recaps for EVERY session; one from you, one from your athlete.

For a deep dive on session recaps, be sure to check out this top blog post.

This has been a total game changer for coaches who heed my advice. They not only help with retention, they also have some very valuable downstream benefits.

First, these recaps are super helpful for athletes when they are practicing on their own. No more two steps forward, one step back.

Second, I’ve found that parents of junior athletes LOVE these recaps.

As a result, the kids love that it keeps their parents off their back. It reduces the need for their parents to ask you and the athlete a bunch of questions after a session. It’s all in their Space, ready to be reviewed by whoever might be interested.

Third, These videos are far more engaging and dynamic than simple text – they convey emotions.

It feels GOOD to learn something new or improve your technique during a live session. Capturing an athlete’s successes, helping them internalize the why behind it all, and posting it in their Space will remind them of that “aha moment”.

Assuming you’re following along from my first tip, simply record these recaps and immediately post them right in the Space. Then you’re done!

For more on this topic, check out this Post: Athlete Retention and Video Recaps

Remember, this blog series is about helping you create cohesive, comprehensive and time-efficient coaching experiences leveraging BOTH the personal touch of in-person sessions AND the convenience and depth of remote communication.

My goal is to help you build Long-term development programs, whether they be in person, remote, or a mix of both. To that end, I hope this helps you see how live sessions can fit into your coaching offer.

Here’s to delivering a fantastic in-person experience for your athletes!
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