The Other Side of the Coin

Category: Coaching
Published on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 21:20
Written by Tomas Leandersson, Coach, Team Sweden Bowling
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Tomas Leandersson, Coach, Team Sweden Bowling

From the transition from bowler to player, my coaching behaviors have changed in many ways.   To be a better coach, you need to think on the other side of the coin.


I have been a player in the Swedish National Team since 1988 and over my 20 year career I have earned  about 50 WTBA / FIQ medals and over 60 individual International victories.  From the transition from bowler to player, my coaching behaviors have changed in many ways.   

Today, for example, we see several nations around the world with a strong economy vigorously make an effort to improve bowling as a sport in their country by hiring full-time players and coaches. But in many cases, it is as it has always been the case that the national team troops meet only once or twice a year and that´s it. As a player, it may be, or rather, it was difficult sometimes to believe in the coach once you stood there for a championship because I did not know what behavior the coach had or vice versa, the coach did not know much about the player.

For several years a bowler has been training, bowling in leagues as well as tournaments, solving problems individually, and that's a pretty typical weekday of a bowler.  Due to this individualistic approach, conflicts can arise between the player and coach. Acceptance to listen and do what the coach sees and says might not be obvious for the player creating doubts

When I decided to stop playing for the national team and set my sights on the "other side" as coach of the Swedish National Team, I wanted to, just like everyone else, I suspect, make some changes.   Among the main thing that I felt was and is to make the individual bowler more aware of himself, behaviors necessary to function in a group and howI,as coach, thinks and acts as development or performance coach.
I asked, for example, the following questions;

-What are the player strengths and weaknesses?
-How much time is he willing to spend on sports?
-How many hours a week practicing
-How many hours
a week practicing
the physical part?
-How many hours
a week practicing the mental part?
-How much of the practice time is quality and
short- and long-term goals the player has set up?
-What can youas a playerdo to achieveyour goals?

I also asked the player to write a training diary, make plans, etc.

After I made the various different analyzes of players' skill levels, the next step was to bring in a professional person in behavioral knowledge to talk with the group in an effort to begin to understand that we all react and act differently to things, and what relationship we should have in the group in order to succeed.

We have both individual and group conversations that have given us a greater understanding of how each individual is, how the player wants to be coached and
the behavior we wish. For me as a coach, it becomes much more efficient and easier to understand the player and the development potential opportunities for all this work to help us achieve several great successes in the increasingly fierce competition that exists out there on the lanes.

My tip for success is to be curious about development and make the player / players and the coach / coaches to understand both sides of the coin!