By Dirk Smith, MSc, SDL (He/Him).
What is coaching? Coaching is teaching, coaching is training, coaching is managing, coaching is growth and development, coaching is so much more than can fit in the five letters that spell “coach.” Athletes look up to their coach for guidance, leadership, mentorship. Coaches look to their athletes for drive, motivation and a will to learn. It’s a relationship that helps both athlete and coach grow within their athletic, professional and personal lives. Yet, the intra and interpersonal complexities of coaching exist within each interaction, decision and observation that represents the fluidic nature of the activity are not always well understood.
Understanding the complexities of coaching from a social cognitive perspective starts with an examination of the limitations in our current reductionist approaches to coaching and a reconsideration of our own internal schemas; our biases that represent the structure of our ability to think, analyze and understand the ambiguous and personal aspects of coaching. This way we can understand the context and constraints that influence our behavior and how we can manage these behaviors to improve our own coaching capabilities.
David "Dirk" Smith M.Sc, SDL, CSCS, (He/Him) is a sport psychology expert, strength & conditioning coach, swimming coach, sports diversity leader, published research scientist, teacher, writer, journalist, and athlete. He brings over 12 years of experience, education, and training to empower athletes to build self efficacy, strength, confidence, and express themselves through sport.