Assistance Please – What three things you wish you knew when you first started……?

Dear Fellow Bloggers and Blog readers

Thank you for taking the time to look at this blog post and provide some constructive feedback. You may not have been a coach or a teacher but you may have worked in an industry for some time. It is the knowledge that you have gained that you wish you knew or understood right from the start that I am after and want to share with others.

You can tweet me @doingthemiles or you can email doingthemiles at

Back Ground: I started coaching professional 22 years ago as a means for fund my University Studies, it is the one thing I am still doing every day along with drinking coffee 🙂 In January 2014 I am giving a lecture at a coaches educational congress in Queensland with the following topic:

What I wished I knew when I started coaching – changes in a human body as a child grows from 2- 18 years and how it affect physical movement and mental development.

Can you please assist by replying in the comments to following question,

What 3 things do you know now, that you wish you knew when you 1st started coaching/Teaching/Working in your industry?


Thanks in advance for your assistance and Have a safe and wonderful festive season.


16 thoughts on “Assistance Please – What three things you wish you knew when you first started……?

  1. Feed back I have recieved via email:
    What 3 things do you know now, that you wish you knew when you 1st started coaching/Teaching?
    1. More specific knowledge
    2. Better teaching strategies
    3. A greater understanding of stages of child development

    Any other input is always welcome.
    I should have been better planned.
    I should have been better at listening to other, more experienced coaches

    These are 2 that were important for me
    What 3 things do you know now, that you wish you knew when you 1st started coaching/Teaching?
    1.To get to know the student just as much as the teaching material
    2.Work out what switches the student on. Where do their gifts lie
    All the best mate

  2. Feedback via Twitter:
    @doingthemiles 1-I don’t know as much as I think I do, 2-Take every opportunity available, 3- Write good tips/information down #what3things

  3. Email Feedback:
    What 3 things do you know now, that you wish you knew when you 1st started coaching/Teaching?
    1. Tactical information
    2. I am better now but still not great – how to get into the minds of the players…..motivate the individual
    3. How to deal with parent expectations and parent complaints.

    1. That I can achieve far more with the kids I coach by using positive psychology practices which make them feel good about themselves through the sport than I can by pointing out skill deficits.
    2. Work out the strengths my team has and go with those, while slowly trying to improve weaknesses, rather than be rigid in a set game plan (which may not gel with that particular team) .
    3. I have to be the model adult while coaching I want them to be when they grow up – reliable, calm, sense of humor, positive mindset, action good values, be fair etc. that is more important than winning anything.

  4. Email Reply:
    1. Develop the athlete and then the player
    2. Focus on the techniques and the results will look after themselves
    3. Coach rather than just run sessions – try to give feedback to every individual at your session so that they can learn something from having attended your session

  5. Email reply:

    That curriculums come and go with politicians.
    That the best way to survive in schools is to keep your head down and mind your own business, because as soon as you pop it up, it gets chopped off.
    That you really CAN make a difference in the lives of your students, if you can survive all the bureaucratic rubbish that goes on around you.

  6. Email response:
    Hi Ashley,

    Here are my 3:

    1. Sometimes it’s hard, but when a child/student is angry you need to stop yourself from escalating the problem, and the best way to do that is by making a conscious decision not to be angry too. Stop. Readjust your tone, take a deep breath and talk quietly and calmly. It’ll usually bring the whole situation under control.

    2. Building a rapport is a two-way street. You need to give a little piece of yourself to the students if you want them to offer you their best work. They need to know you are human, and that you care, and they need to care about and respect what you think.

    3. It’s okay to laugh (sometimes) when they do something silly. We don’t have to be angry every time a student makes a mistake. Part of learning is making mistakes – we really need to encourage students through their mistakes, not shame them because of it. We can’t be perfect, but we can learn how to learn from our imperfections. It doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience.

    And one more for free!

    4. It doesn’t matter what you do, who you are or how you do things, at the end of the day you have a class of individuals in front of you, and the only real ‘control’ you have over them is the ‘control’ they afford you. They make a choice to behave or not. It’s up to them. Your job is to provide the right incentives.

    Hope that helps!!

  7. Facebook responses:
    Never ever be afraid to ask questions if you don’t have the answer.

    Can’t believe how many people think they have to know absolutely everything just because they have a certain qualification. That’s what mentors and colleagues are great for

    How to get unruly children to do what you want
    oh that’s right I still want to know that some days

    Know WHY you are doing things as opposed to monkey see monkey do! Just coz you saw someone else do it, doesn’t mean it will work for you & your kids. Each situation is different.

  8. Here’s what I wish my coaches had known when I was a teenage triathlete:
    1. Learn WHY the athlete is training – not their goals but WHY they hold those goals because this can often help refocus the athlete’s goals in a direction they didn’t know existed so they can get more enjoyment out of the sport
    2. Help the athlete know their LIMITS – At 34yo I am paying a heavy price for overtraining as a teenage athlete
    3. Make training FUN, rather than about performance – performance is important in seeking winning results but it doesn’t help the athlete achieve lifelong health and wellbeing.

    What three things I wish I knew before entering the eLearning industry?
    1. Criticism is a fact of life and not a reflection on my abilities or value as a person
    2. Things change so what you knew yesterday might be outdated tomorrow
    3. You will want to quit when the job gets boring or frustrating, but it’s a whole load better than being stuck standing in a rice paddy or sewing in a sweat shop or sleeping rough.

    • Thanks Andrew. Great point about goals. Getting to know your athletes is so important. Each athlete is a person first, then a athlete. They are not a tool for carrier advancement.

  9. What 3 things do you know now, that you wish you knew when you 1st started coaching/Teaching?
    1. Even in team sports the focus has to be on the individual
    2. Skills need to be learnt very early
    3. The individual needs to learn confidence and take responsibility
    This is hard. Probably:

    How much children (particularly boys) respond to fair and consistently implemented expectations.
    How much teaching and coaching impinges on relationships
    How important being a role model is.

  10. The three things would be
    1. What I want kids to learn and what they remember are two completely different things
    2. Kids value being shown that they are valued
    3. To a kid who has no idea, goal setting sucks. Every adult wants kids to set goals. The best thing you can do for a kid is help them work out (not tell them) where they need to go.

    1. The impact of body language / physical stance on yourself as well as the impact on your competitors

    2. Knowing how to calm and have composure using your breath

    3. Drills, drills and more drills – skill development in a fun way

  11. 1. That children are not adults and hence should be treated differently
    2. fun is the essence of motivation for young men
    3. fun is essential and so are the fundamental movement patterns, do not strive for the 1 % try and conquer the 99%.

    Re Teaching: It is all about motivation.

    1. That your first task is to identify those students who are intrinsically motivated, and those who aren’t.

    2. For those who are not, help them find a reason that means something to them, to help them become intrinsically motivated.

    3. For those who cannot become intrinsically motivated, they need to either drop the subject to find something they can get motivated about but if that is not possible, they pass the task of extrinsically motivating them over to me until such time as they find it within to try.

    4. Now it is your responsibility to provide an interesting course, well-resourced with tasks that challenge to keep them motivated, or get them motivated.

    Re Coaching:

    1. If you want to have a good team, your best players have to be your hardest workers.

    2. It’s a game played for fun. Don’t ever lose that perspective, nor allow the players to lose it either.

    3. Give players the tools, and let them play the game. Do not over-coach. Trust them to make the decisions.

    Hope that helps.

  12. I am an art teacher and the three things I wished someone had told me was..

    1. Spending money in your classroom to make life more fun is well worth it.
    2. Calling all the parents at the beginning of the year builds early communication and means when I call later, they are better about listening.
    3. Hanging around teachers who always complain will bring you down. Don’t do it.

    • Calling all the parents at the start of the year, I am going to try that next year. I really like that idea of building early communication. Exactly right on number three. I do my best to avoid those types in all my dealings. Thanks for your feed back.

      • I hope it ends up being helpful. I also like to track who might want to go with you on field trips ect

  13. 1. People learn in direct proportion to how much fun they are having
    2. Everyone has fears and doubts that they are not good enough (including incredibly successful people)
    3. Only work with people who ‘want to change’ not people who want to use you as an excuse why they can’t change – ‘see, even with a professional helping me I can’t do it. I was right!”

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