The Changing World of Athlete Feedback
To some, a world without instant feedback and the ability to access information at the touch of a button is completely alien. It was the norm when I was a player to not get game-specific feedback for days, weeks - or even maybe ever! However, the world I live in now as a coach is very different and here’s why…
The growth of the internet and mobile devices has changed how people communicate and gather information. Vast databases available at the touch of a button via Google, Wikipedia etc. People from more recent generations are used to being able to access information immediately, they are used to a world of instant gratification, feedback and dialogue through social media. Likes, comments and retweets are social media currency and Millennials want to be virtually rich. They want to be seen, heard and reassured instantaneously.
Well the same now applies to athletes from those same generations- why wouldn't it?
They don’t want to compete at the weekend and wait until Wednesday for feedback on what went right and what went wrong. They want to know now - they want to know while it’s relevant, while they are still connected emotionally to it. As coaches we shouldn't just recognise that but we should embrace it.
As Coaching should be age appropriate - how we feedback is extremely important. Indeed the concept of feedback can really be evolved to that of communication (turning a one-way conversation into a two-way and in time a multi-way between coaches and players) – this is worthy of its own blog next!
Two fundamental social changes to bear in mind are: Personalisation – if it doesn’t involve or is about the person they’ve already switched off! Attention Span – research shows the average human attention span is 8 seconds so if it’s not simple, short and specific – it’s lost!
By giving players the feedback while they are still attached to the game they are more likely to embrace it and respond accordingly. The ever growing world of social media, the web and apps means that we can increase contact time with players remotely, in a way they are used to and comfortable with receiving information.
Video analysis and cloud platforms provide players with a self-learning environment so they can see what happened for themselves (allowing them to reflect on their personal performance) - an invaluable tool in the learning matrix. So remember, as a coach keep it simple, engaging and relevant to your players.
To find out more about how Performa Sports can help support your coaching communication and increase coach-player contact time with video and data analysis visit www.performasports.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.