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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds PADDY UPTON: In an earlier article on setting individual and team goals, we discussed gaining clarity on where the team is going and the important factors that will help achieve those goals. We also discussed getting individual players to set their own goals, and how these might or might not be aligned with team goals. This next exercise can be very useful in helping individual team members take responsibility for delivering their part towards the team goals or plans. And then for communicating this commitment, it can be very useful, also, as a pregame exercise.

Skip to 0 minutes and 42 seconds What I do is to ask individuals to sit alone with a pen and paper and to write down the answers to the question– given what the team plans are for the next game, what are the things that are important for me to focus on that will help deliver on those plans? Or even more simply, what am I personally going to bring to the team today? I ask players to write these down in statements starting with, “I commit to,” and then complete that. Once this is done, and depending on your unique situation, there are a few options to process the answers.

Skip to 1 minute and 20 seconds The first is to ask players to share their answers with a peer, ideally with a good friend or someone who plays maybe a similar role to theirs, like a fellow opening batsman in cricket. After each person has shared with the other, you can take the exercise to the next step by asking them to discuss between themselves how each one can support the other in keeping these commitments. A second option is to ask players to share their answers with you, as coach. The red flag here is, unless you have a really trusting environment and players feel really safe and comfortable with you, they might feel uncomfortable sharing, or they’ll write what they think you want to hear. This isn’t useful.

Skip to 2 minutes and 8 seconds A third option is to have players share their commitments one at a time with the whole group. This might be the most challenging, but can also be the most rewarding. Sharing them increases each player’s accountability to the group, making it easier to uphold and more difficult to break their commitment. This exercise will also give you, as coach, a better insight into how each of your players think about their own game. We all know that commitments are easier to break than to make. So while it’s useful to help your team members to make these commitments, it’s also useful to help them decrease the likelihood of breaking them, which we’ll discuss in the next video.

How public accountability impacts planning

Public accountability empowers individuals to take responsibility for their role in achieving team goals.

When there is public accountability within the team, in the context of a safe and trusting environment, all players are encouraged to identify what they will do to help achieve the team goal.

They can announce this to the team or to a teammate, thus making sure their actions and behaviours are clear not only to themselves, but to others on the team as well.

In the video, I illustrate this idea with strategies from my own practice.

Your task

Explain the strategies, from those outlined in the video or those you already use, that would be most beneficial/detrimental to coaching in your context.

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Player-centred Coaching

Deakin University

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