"Instructing is: 'I know, let me tell you what to do'. Advising is: 'I know. Let me make a suggestion and leave the decision up to you'. In the modern day when people talk about empowering players and saying, 'Well you figure it out and do what you need to do', that's abdicating. "Coaching is a process where I help you find your own best answer for yourself through a process of questioning, testing your thinking, maybe giving you information and asking how you make sense of it. So I coach. Whereas most coaches today are actually instructors. They tell people what to do, when to practice, when to bat, for how long, where to bowl, etc."

I love this clarification. I know I have both instructed and abdicated thinking that it's coaching. I know many players think coaching is nothing but instruction. Hopefully we are changing that.

"As soon as there is a coach in place telling players what to do, it stops players having to think. For a lot of players that's quite alluring because you don't have to do the thinking, and if something goes wrong you have someone else to blame."


For all of us, disengaging the brain is easy and natural. You run on instinct. Humans are amazing at doing this because you can't live in a complex world without it. You have to work to stay engaged. As a coach, I need to work to keep people engaged.


"I will sit with the player and the analyst and ask, 'What is it that you want that will leave you prepared?'"

Like that. Because the alternative is to tell someone your amazing advice because you know it works every time.

Or do you?

"Players who have had an extended career will say anywhere between one and three out of 100 things that they have been told by an expert actually makes a point. So I know that if I give a player a piece of input, there is a 99 per cent chance it is going to be useless."


AuthorDavid Hinchliffe