Shouting from the touchline

What must it be like being the referee, the coach and the manager?

I went to see my son play hockey at the weekend and was intrigued by the behaviour of the visiting coach for the other team. He had an interesting challenge. He was refereeing the match whilst coaching his team.

His style reminded me of many managers:

  •  He saw it as his job to stop to spot rule infringements. He was the whistle blower when something went wrong.
  • He praised certain moments of play that pleased him
  • Mistakes were quickly condemned “oh James what was that? I said pass it down the line..come on guys’
  • He was the eyes and ears for the team. He would shout out when someone was in space to receive a pass. He was the observer of tactics first hand and an expert in where the ball should go and where his team should stand or run.
  • You could see the look of disappointment on his face when one of his boys made a mistake. A look that was quickly matched by their own.
  • Reprimand and praise was for all to hear. Each were shouted over the heads of the spectators and players.

I couldn’t help wondering if he would have played the whole match alone given the chance. In my view, his style created tension. It also made me wonder whether the team would have played better had he not been there at all.

For me, he summed up the difference between coaching and telling. How many managers do you know who behave like this? They set themselves up as experts and the centre for tactics and motivation. The team stop thinking for themselves and become reliant (albeit reluctantly) on the input from the leader.

We believe there is great untapped potential here. Do you have the coaching skills and style to bring out the best in people? Or do you see it as your job to stop the game when things go wrong?

 Music in the office this week

A quick look at the DTC playlist points to Shawn Colvin and the “A Few Small Repairs’ Album. Some great songs and really well produced. For those of you who love to show off the stereo, this album positively sings. The acoustic guitars sparkle and the vocals soar…