Coaches Corner Effective Feedback by Elevate Ultimate

What mechanisms are you using to communicate effectively with your players? Providing effective feedback will make you a better coach and help accelerate your team's learning

This is an excerpt of ‘Chapter 14: Effective Feedback’ from Elevate Ultimate’s book “The Art of Coaching Ultimate”

Please keep in mind this book and chapter is in the context of coaching kids…although there is no reason why these feedback tips can’t be applied to adults as well!

“Hey everyone, let’s pause for a moment. Great wrist snaps overall, and I love that everyone is stepping out. I just want to make a quick correction about the step outs. Can anyone tell me why I would want to step out like this… and not this…? Ok everyone, now follow along with what I’m doing… Ok, keep practicing that while I walk around. Feel free to give each other feedback on how your partner is doing as well… Ok, great. I really want to see THESE awesome step-outs when you’re throwing for the next two minutes, ok?”

I pace around the group a little bit ensuring that I’m checking in with my pretzel people and positively affirming the change in the skill.

“Okay, that looks WAY better everyone. Great work.”

How to Structure Feedback

Let’s take a closer look at the structure of my feedback in my scenario:

  1. I start off with a positive:- “Great wrist snaps overall, and I love that everyone is stepping out.”
  2. I proceed to the correction:- “Can anyone tell me why I would want to step out like this… and not this…?”
  3. I give them an example they can copy:- “Ok everyone, now follow along with what I’m doing… Ok, keep practicing that while I walk around.”
  4. I encourage the action:- “I really want to see THESE awesome step-outs when you’re throwing for the next two minutes, ok?”

One final tip for you. When your athletes APPLY what you’ve been working on in a game, you should LOSE YOUR MIND. Nothing solidifies learning for them more than seeing their coach get excited about something they were able to do. Being energetic and passionate when they achieve their goals and learn new skills can be incredibly motivating for your athletes.

Your Turn – Give Feedback

Scenario: Your athletes are scrimmaging and just scored a point using the endzone system you practiced.

Can you think of an example of feedback that’s too general? ie. “I like that you all cut when you were supposed to!”

Now give feedback that’s specific using the system above

Purchase Elevate Ultimate’s “The Art of Coaching Ultimate” book

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Also in Coaches Corner:

  • Coaching Fundamentals
  • Coaching a Team: Get Organised
  • Technical Discussion
  • Train Like A Champion
  • Well-being
  • Misc