The ConnectedCoach Podcast

Don't Worry! Athletes won't fire you if they get too GOOD too FAST

Here's the thing: you shouldn’t seek to be a dictator in your coaching relationships. While it may be useful at first, a directive feedback loop shouldn’t serve as your long-term goal. 

In fact, I’d say that a defining feature separating a good coach from a great coach is how autonomous they empower their athletes to be. 

Great coaches support and encourage their athletes to be autonomous through calibrative feedback. 

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Hey everybody, Spencer here, former burnt out coach and founder of coach now. And the connected coach academy today's mini episode is called don't worry athletes. Won't fire you if they get too good, too fast. So in today's episode, you'll learn. The difference between calibrative and directive feedback and how to leverage calibrative feedback to make your athletes more autonomous, which will help you grow your business in the process.

So let's get to it.

Coaching relationships begin and end, according to an athlete's needs. Maybe the athlete needs direction and a roadmap. Maybe their own motivation is lack. Or maybe they're looking for someone with specific experience and skills that can compliment and enhance their own. But one thing is for sure, the athlete is looking for help with something that they can't do on their own.

And at some point they decided the best way to get help is to find a coach. At first, you as a coach are in charge. You're the one directing the athlete on what to do. This type of coaching relies on what is known as directive. Feedback that is you directly set the training plans, initiate the majority of communications and provide the feedback necessary to get them off to a good start.

You push the athlete to work harder, supply that little extra dose of social pressure and give external motivation to help them achieve their goals. And don't get me wrong. Directive feedback is valuable at the beginning of every coaching relationship. When your athletes first begin working with you, the two of you essentially speak a different language complete with unique nomenclature acronym, style, et cetera.

Every coach is a little different. And the directive phase of the relationship ensures that you and your athlete create a shared understanding. I E a foundation that you will build upon as your relationship progresses. But here's the thing you shouldn't seek to be a dictator in your coaching relationship, really at all, but especially long term while it might be useful.

At first, a directive feedback loop, shouldn't be the goal. In fact, what differentiates a good coach from a great coach is how autonomous they empower their athletes to be great coaches support and encourage their athletes to be autonomous through calibrative. And in my opinion, your goal from the start of any coaching relationship should be to shift from directive to calibrative feedback as soon as possible.

So what exactly do I mean by calibrative feedback? Well, in, in a calibrative coaching relationship, the athlete now has everything they need to take the lead. And now they're gonna be documenting what they're learning while you, the coach provides a board of feedback as they gain momentum. In other words, in the calibrative setting the athletes in the driver's seat, leading their own development.

You aren't teaching the basics of, uh, large sweeping movements and you're not encouraging massive shifts in their training plan. You're there to make sure everything is moving on track without ruling over the entire process, because you've given them enough to get to this point. You simply provide subtle functional feedback and ongoing support that keeps them moving forward efficiently.

In short, you're providing the insights that benefit your athlete during, after, and even in between your live sessions, because here's the thing you aren't always gonna be with them when they need to. that's absolutely the case. You can't always be on the course with them or on the field with them or on the court with them.

That's just not how it works. And as such, you owe it to them to make them autonomous. In my opinion, if your athletes need you by their side to do well, you just simply, aren't doing your job. You're doing them a great disservice full stop. Now I know what you're thinking. The knee jerk reaction I've seen from coaches is one of.

I often hear people say things like, well, why would I teach my athlete to not need me anymore? Doesn't that make me obsolete? Absolutely not. In fact, after decades of being in this industry, I can confidently say that the opposite is absolutely true. Now, obviously there is some nuance here. Of course, you need to provide tangible value and have enough experience to help your athletes reliably improve their game.

But assuming you're good at what you do and you master the art of calibrated feedback, your athletes will not only. But will also feel empowered and motivated to improve on their own. There's really nothing more that a coach wants than that. The result they get better, faster, and I've never seen once a coach get fired for making their athletes too good, too fast.

So by focusing predominantly on calibrative instead of directive feedback, you haven't made yourself less valuable. You've made yourself a necessary ingredient to their. Because think about it. Your athletes are always gonna have questions. There's always gonna be room for improvement, and there's always gonna be valuable feedback that you can provide.

They'll stay with you because they value your input and feedback. And more importantly, they value the relationship that you have fostered over that time period. They just no longer need you to supply everything or rely on you entirely for the direction. Shifting from directive to calibrative feedback helps your bottom line and the growth of your business in two major.

First as I hope I've illustrated above. When your athlete gets better, you become a key ingredient to their success. Happy client is a retained client, though. It might be counterintuitive. At first, the more autonomous you can make your athlete, the more empowered and confident it will become. And the more that you will retain them and they will stay with you as such.

They're also going to refer other people to you because they know that you're gonna deliver that long term value and help them become autonomous second. Helping your athletes become autonomous will help you bring on more clients, not just through word of mouth, but because the athlete relies on you less, you now have room for more people within your stable of athletes.

So as a result, if you are delivering calibrative feedback, you now have more time to bring on extra clients while still delivering immense value to each and every one of them over time, you'll train your athletes to value your. But not have to hold your hand every step of the way you should think of this transition from directive to calibrative.

As a form of training, don't make the change overnight. That's not the goal. Rather demonstrate over time, how less, more focus feedback can yield better results. Once they start to see the benefits, they'll come to love this style of coaching and you know me, I'm always hoping to help you save time while increasing your impact.

And I think if you heed the advice in today's episode, you'll do exactly that.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this mini episode or what we're calling the blog pod. Since these are slightly different takes on our growing database of articles. So if you like this format, please consider subscribing. So you get notifications when we drop new episodes. And remember, you can learn more about what we do at coach and subscribe to our weekly slash education.

Thanks for tuning in and we'll see you next.