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 Post subject: Definition of a COACH
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:51 pm
Posts: 173
Location: 11264 Egypt
Our shooting sport is one that benefits from coaching . After reading the thread about the Australian online coach who uses Skype to interact with her trainees . I wondered as who would qualify as a coach . Must it be someone who has proven himself by winning medals like her , who shoots better than we do , or just someone with the ability to observe and instruct on what works and what does not .

In my experience on here , in this particular forum and the Shooters Lounge , I have found many coaches amongst the shooters who post regularly on here... their techniques and tips have helped me discover a lot of my recurring mistakes and shown me how to overcome some of them .

Below is the Webster's definition of Coach .

" one who instructs or trains . an acting coach ; especially : one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport and directs team strategy "

Webster's definition fails to mention honing skills and techniques , which in our sport are important.

I think a formal coach may be of help to guide contestants as to match strategy, coping with stress , confidence boosting and when things don't go as planned to commiserate and nurse bruised egos and not 'I told you so's' .

Finally , is there such a thing as 'coach dependence' ... not being able to wean oneself from being under the tutorship of a coach and finally, mature enough to 'go it alone' ? I note that most of the finalists in important matches have their coaches seated in the row behind the firing points.


elmas


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 6:43 pm
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A more important question is "What do I want out of a Coach ? or What do I expect from a Coach ?"


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:27 am 
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David M,

Why don't you start that ball rolling by illustrating what "you" would want in a coach?

After all that is a pretty wide window, depending on where you are on the development scale as a shooter. If you are a beginner, you may need help with technical matters. This could be fitting of pistol or rifle or some other technical requirement such as developing stance or NPA. If you are somewhat further along it could be a technique problem that requires some assistance. Almost at any level of development you may require mental reinforcement development. So the opportunity for a coach to be of assistance is wide ranging.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:51 pm
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Location: 11264 Egypt
Pheyden wrote:
David M,

Why don't you start that ball rolling by illustrating what "you" would want in a coach?.




A very good question .

What I want from a coach can be divided into general requirements and specific ones.
Generally my mythical coach needs to be of agreeable disposition , patient , literate , knowing and considerate . Someone who finds pleasure and fulfillment in helping shooters improve their scores through correct technique and the requisite psychological attitude .

AS for what I specifically would want from my coach it would be that he be not discouraged when he discovers how much needs to be done in order to get me into the 550's let alone 560's.

I have been shooting for some years ... and used to shoot as part of my Clubs air pistol team . I do a lot of practice in my basement and the fact that my Tesro PA 10 needs a Service Kit is an inkling as to how much training . Sad fact is , I have been prey to the common ailment of "negative reinforcement".

I read all the books and watched all the Videos but still , my faults are not limited to say stance or trigger control , concentration , grip etc.. but a cocktail of all of them not necessarily every shot but there must be a scientific explanation to why there are so few tens and nines and plenty of 8's and 7's and of course the odd stray into the white numbers.

I suspect mostly concentration , and the inability to take the 'leap of faith' and let go of the target and keep my eye on the sights as the shot is released.

A coach would be able to weed out the faults one by one and ideally drill into my routines the consistent quality shots that yield respectable scores.


Elmas


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:10 am 
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Elmas,

Great, refreshing attitude!! I can tell you for one that I found exactly what you are asking for in my personal training with Dina Aspandiyarova in Australia. She is always patient, concerned, supportive, but also quite firm on what is expected of you as her student.

I had a similar situation to yours (I am sure that neither of us is unique). I could get them in the black, but it looked like the holes were shot with a scatter gun. Dina got me to understand certain truths.

1. The primary reason for a scatter pattern, given that other parts of your technique are nominally good, is not focusing on the front sight.
2. Poor shot release action will simply exascerbate No. 1.
3. Positive mental reinforcement in VITAL to keep you in the right frame of mind, even when things do not go well.

With regard to #1 I discovered my problem with front sight focus was two fold, optical and mental. I finally bought my own Lensmeter so I could track what correction factor worked best for me at 10, 25 and 50 meter. Once I had the right lens I used both a slit and an iris to give me the depth of field I needed. Then, with blackening the front and rear sights before every practice and match I found that I can really "focus" on the front sight optically and it makes the mental focus much easier.

With regard to #2 I simply had to relearn what a good shot release is. It took some time, and also required me to make a commitment to release the shot. This required a "rethink" about having confidence in my arc of motion, and not "chase the shot". In a nutshell it required being content with the arc of motion (say within the 9 ring) and then releasing the shot. The result would be either a 9 or 10.

With regard to #3 Dina suggested to me a procedure in the preparation phase of each shot sequence. First she had me "visualize" the shot that I was to perform. Then I actually say to myself a "positive reinforcement phrase" (yes, actually verbalize it so that you "hear" it) which initializes the actual beginning of the shot process.

Hope this provides you with some insight.


Last edited by Pheyden on Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:51 pm
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Location: 11264 Egypt
[quote][/quote]Hope this provides you with some insight.[quote]


This has provided me with 'plenty insight' ... In fact , I shall copy paste your response to my desktop to re-read several times and 'interiorize' your many observations and tips .

Thanks

Elmas


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:34 pm
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Location: White Sulphur Springs, MT, USA
Many good points above.

I would disagree with [*]Below is the Webster's definition of Coach .

" one who instructs or trains . an acting coach ; especially : one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport and directs team strategy " [*]

An instructor works with shooters interested in learning the basics of shooting, and may only see that person once or a few times. A coach works on a longer term basis with shooters who want to improve their ability to higher levels than they are currently at.

Many newer shooters who are trying to improve find that they have a bundle of interrelated problems. AS they improve, though, it generally comes down to the mental side. I've used a simple chart with headings of H(old), T(rigger), M(ental), and numbers for each shot. After the shot simply mark + or - in each column, and you will begin to see patterns of you own problem areas. Then a coach can help you find ways to train to eliminate (or at least greatly reduce) the problems one by one. Training is specific item based, while practice is inclusive of everything for the shot.

Coaches have goals, just as shooters have (or should have), and the good coaches goals include making the shooter self dependent - able to coach themselves, and only use the coach as a sounding board for what they think they need to do. A good coach should be able to work with lower level, as well as high level shooters, and many of the best are found in established junior programs.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:54 pm 
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I think that you need a different coach for each stage of your shooting life.
A Club Coach will set you on the right track when you first start, he or she is
more of an instructor teaching the basics.
In the middle level you should know the basics, so you want a Competition Coach
who can analyse your shooting, recognize faults that you yourself have not detected
or fully understood.
At the top level you are now self-coaching and your development is high level
mental and technical.
You are no longer leaning on a Coach but you need a mentor who can direct you
to seek answers to your own coaching questions.
At this level you will use a lot of resourses from spelasists, orthopedics and
sports conditioning, sport psychologist, gunsmiths, etc.
The Coach’s you see at World level are more Team Managers and are there for
competition support, to help remove some stress.
As for shooting , their is not a huge amout of coaching going on here ... you
should know how to do it at this level.
The final stage is after you retire from top level.......here you become the Coach.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:31 am
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I think everyone is correct here. Actually, I'm thankful that you at least consider the necessity of a coach, because a lot of shooters think that they don't need one, and come to the range to make some noise and smell some gunpowder. As for me, the coach is defined by their athletes' achievements/progress. Here in Australia we have many volunteer coaches, in fact everyone helps everyone but the scores across the country are really low. So, there are a lot of people who know the basics, but once it gets deeper into the mindset aspect of shooting not many of them can really help. I've been at almost ALL stages of being a shooter, but it doesn't automatically make me a good coach. A coach has to demonstrate some achievements. And I've got ones when I worked with Singaporean Women's team. But even this fact didn't give me a reason to say that my online coaching might work. Therefore I'm immensely grateful to Pheyden for his trust in me, because he was one of the first shooters who started to work with me last year and there was no guarantee that it might work. Since then I've improved a lot and now have a number of "lectures" which I can use depending on the shooter's level.
I would like to share with you some other thoughts. Now it seems to me that it is relatively easy to work with national teams and full time shooters... It's much harder to achieve some improvement with those who are: a) full-time employees; b) have many other commitments; c) have bunch of bad habits and mistakes; d) have some health issues. It's not that my brain works 24/7, but I constantly have to look for different strategies and words which would work for a particular shooter. As an example: the age range of my shooters is 11-73 from 10 countries; I have schoolkids, a musician, doctor, IT people, businessmen, military personnel who work in shifts, university students, wheelchair shooters, another sport coach and couple of professional athletes from other sports who were successful in their sports but need to bring down their ego and accept that in this sport they are at the kindergarten level... For all of them I need to develop a system of training according to their current abilities and needs. And I think I'm not bad at it :-)


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