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Coaching styles

There is a continuum of styles that can be used by a coach:

• Coaching through drills
• Instructional/didactic
• Technique driven
• Focus on performance
• Emphasis on winning
• Coach makes all decisions
• Authoritarian leadership
• Structured
• Tell and show
• Explicit and formal approach

• Coaching through games
• Questioning for understanding
• Needs of learner
• Individualised learning
• Focus on person
• Emphasis on development
• Player makes decisions
• Democratic leadership
• Chaos
• Hands-off style
• Ask and listen
• Implicit and informal approach

Coaches need to be able to use a range of styles and to select the most appropriate for the given participants, context and purpose. No one style is better or worse than the other. There is a time to tell, a time to watch and listen, a time to let participants do more thinking and take more responsibility. Each style will have its place, although some are likely to result in more lasting learning than others. You may demonstrate different styles within this continuum during a single session.

Video library
Games and examples of practices
Resource library
Find and download coaching resources
Online learning
A series of online learning modules to help you develop your coaching