This month I came across possibly the best book on coaching I’ve ever read!
Authors: Allistair McCaw
Topic: Self development, Psychology, Coaching
Appropriate for: Anyone and everyone!
Overall rating: 5/5 – go and read it NOW!
In my opinion, this book should be mandatory reading for anyone involved in trying to help others get better – whether in sport, academics, business or general life! I’m going to try my best to give a thorough overview of such a fantastic book. Essentially, Allistair McCaw has condensed his experiences and opinions on coaching with the wisdom of a vast array of amazing coaches – John Wooden, Bill Walsh, Alex Ferguson, Graham Henry and Eddie Jones to name a few. The product of that is this book, which covers a number of key issues in coaching:
- Standards – personal, organizational, athlete’s
- Method – identity, philosophy, training concepts
- Adapt – changes is constant, understanding your athletes
- Energy – personal energy, motivation, the energy business
- Interpersonal Skills – likeability, people first athletes second
- Fundamentals – foundations, unnoticeables and what the best do
- Invest – in yourself, your career and your legacy
- What Coaching isn’t – misconceptions of coaching
- 50 things I’ve learned as a Coach – great lessons from coaching
- 40 mistakes Coaches make – how to avoid others’ mistakes
- What makes a great coach – experts opinions on coaching
- What coaches make – investing in relationships
- Tips on working with today’s athletes – overcoming generational obstacles
- Advice for young coaches – advice from a wise head
The format of the book is well thought out, with each chapter ending with some key questions on the content just discussed. I found completing this questions and exercises helped me solidify some ideas on my coaching, as well as reflecting on my coaching practice. I would recommend completing this exercises. Some example questions are:
“Do you already have a method or philosophy in place?”
“As a coach what changes do you feel you need to make in order to progress?”
“Have you found your main reasons WHY you coach?”
Reading this book and completing the associated questions would help the most basic of coaches dramatically improve their understanding, application and day to day coaching practice. For expert coaches, this a great reminder of the key fundamentals of coaching – maintaining standards, revisiting the basics and understanding the human elements of performance.
Here’s a taste of some key quotes:
“Your standards and your culture are the foundation that everything else is built on.”
“Everything you do must have a purpose and a WHY”
“The most dangerous phrase in the book is ‘This is the way it’s always been done around here'”
“Don’t keep adding things, rather subtract and look for ways to simplify your method. A simple method is a successful method.
Overall, I would say this book is a phenomenal resource for any coach. It should be in your library as soon as possible. It is one of those books that I anticipate I will re-read every year to keep me on the right track! Do yourself a favour and get a copy now!
You can find the book here: 7 KEYS TO BEING A GREAT COACH: Become Your Best and They Will Too
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