Coaching Philosophy

“A coach’s ‘philosophy’ above all else will inform their coaching”[1]. Therefore, coaches are often encouraged to articulate their own philosophy in order to consciously guide their practice in the direction they desire.

While I very early on wrote out my own personal coaching philosophy in my career, this is an excellent opportunity to revisit that philosophy, check that I’m still on track and adjust as needed.

Previously my coaching philosophy was guided by one single phrase: I wish to make myself redundant. To elaborate, my aim was always to teach in such a way that the student would be able to continue to develop once the session was finished.

Over time, this has developed. I believe the following summarises my own personal coaching philosophy:

  • Understand the students individual motivations including their measure of excellence (personal or elite)[2] and their preferred environments
  • Develop a mastery approach including the many models that apply, including being Outcome Aware, Process Focused
  • Combine evidence-based research with belief-based practice becoming evidence-informed in a way that combines general guiding principles delivered to the individual in a way that is best to suit them in that moment
  • Make myself redundant whereby students are empowered to learn rather than be fed answers i.e. develop decision making in the students according to the Spectrum of Teaching Styles[3]
  • Develop a growth mindset[4] whereby they embrace failure and develop both effective analytical skills and coping mechanisms for themselves, crucially through setting goals at the edge of their current skill set
  • Employ self determination theory[5] in order to develop strong intrinsic motivation and thus lifelong learning
  • Create a relaxed atmosphere that reduces stress and pressure[6] and allows climbers to express themselves to the best of their ability

This philosophy should apply across ALL students, irrespective of age, grade, experience, environment, discipline or measure of excellence. While the application of this philosophy will change and alter depending on the student and the session, the principles should carry through across all sessions.

[1] (Cushion & Partington, 2016, p. 851)

[2] (Collins, et al., 2012)

[3] (Mosston & Ashworth, 2008)

[4] (Dweck, 2017)

[5] (Deci & Ryan, 1985)

[6] (Yerkes & Dodson, 1908)