Hollywood has created a stereotype of what an effective coach should do. Coaches coach, and players comply. Centered on the coach and his or her ability to give an inspirational speech in a demanding environment, it makes for great drama. It's also way off base. I've found that the best coaches have high standards, yet they talk far less than the movies suggest. Instead, they ask questions that make their athletes think and problem solve. Brian Decker is a former Green Beret and the Director of Team Development for the Indianapolis Colts. He told me, "The greatest coaching tool we have at our disposal is a question." With that in mind, here are some questions to ask your players and/or yourself.
Where should your eyes be?
What should we be looking for?
What are the cues?
What should we do here?
What could we do here?
What might happen if . . . ?
In this situation, how might you do . . . ?
What about . . .?
What was supposed to happen?
What actually happened?
Does everyone know and respect the rules?
What current things are being done for players that shouldn’t be done?
What percentage of players actions are self-directed vs coach-directed?
Do players know exactly what is expected of them - attitude, effort, focus?