When my son Euan, was younger, he played for a junior rugby team and I helped to coach them alongside other keen and enthusiastic dads.
We were a reasonable team, not brilliant; I think the quality of the coaches was also in question. But we sought ways to improve. Serendipity provided the answer. Let me explain.
At the club’s annual dinner, we were donated a rugby ball from Gloucester Rugby’s 2005 winning team. An actual match ball used by top players. You know; felt, passed and caught by real players. The ball went into the auction as the top prize.
Let me fast-forward the story. We won the ball in the auction.
I thought that’s it, at last we can play like winners, so I introduced the ball at our next training session and used it for the match against Kidderminster.
Did the ball make a difference? Not a bit. We lost handsomely.
A ball is not going to make any difference. Responsibility for performance lies with the players and the coaching team, we hadn’t improved and a new ball wasn’t going to make any transformation.
In the same way, responsibility in coaching lies with the coachee not the coach.