Coaching today




Services - winning ethically

As well as the content of coach education, development and learning, we pioneer the delivery, style and nature of the education itself. Effective learning involves doing, using, failing [safely], adapting, problem-solving and so on, hence the most effective learners being called "toddlers" not "walkers".  


In contrast, education's frameworks, procedures and resources are set-up to "give" (not use) information: learning a little like giving coaching basketball without giving the athletes a ball! 


To coach responsibly, ethically and produce better (winning) athletes, we have created a number of learner-centered interactive activities as "learning 

safety-nets" in seven areas of development based on our comprehensive applied research program. Helping institutions, teams and coaches:

  • Identify inherent constraints in everyday coaching practices that could be compromising coach-athlete relationships;

  • Explain how many current coaching behaviours could be disempowering and undermining their athletes' development;

  • Implement fluid and flexible training practices that can be adapted to their athletes’ specific needs and situations;

  • Demonstrate a critical and responsible use of data/technology;

  • Develop long-lasting, truly ethical (which by definition is effective) cultures;

  • Coach with a greater appreciation and awareness of how to be open-minded, inquisitive, comfortable with ambiguity, humble, collaborative, trustworthy, playful, patient, empathetic, creative, curious, courageous, confident, resilient, balanced and realistic.

Transforming learning

Interaction is essential for effective learning. Problem-solving, overcoming ambiguity, deeper understanding… checking, clarifying and confirming… asking, exploring and wondering… connecting to other knowledge and also to the learners’ everyday contexts… “using” the knowledge in a safeand secure setting that allows for mistakes and makes the learning work. 


Like coaching basketball without giving the athletes a ball, without knowledge-using, interaction or a learning safety-net, learning doesn’t happen.


Learning remains the giving of specific knowledge in specific ways, times and places and can only ever result in docile learners used to being told what to think and do, afraid of getting things wrong, looking foolish and doing whatever they need just to survive—listen, sop up, repeat like robots.


In other words, given our social theoretical stance, we also transform the delivery of learning itself. 



Our online learning consists of seven "areas" for development that comprise a whole curriculum on "social" theories. One area is better than none but all are better than one, to prevent your coaching from being divorced from reality and your athletes experiencing ongoing problems.  


Without theory guiding one's reflections, coach reflection is little more than looking in a mirror and seeing what you already saw. Join an 'active reflection' group to understand how power works and truly progress your coaching. ​


Join a group of coaches, take a pre-determined time (2-4 weeks) to read a reading, answer the guided questions and take notes, and then reflect in relation to your own context and meet (online) to discuss, debate and be guided together.  


Learning how our theoretically-inspired coaching tools work through a specific coaching case study (your or ours), guided and shaped by our theoretical framework, can be a very effective way of helping you 'see' the case from a number of different perspectives. ​




Develop by joining a workshop group where a specific issue or problem is 'workshopped' by a group and guided by our theoretically-inspired coaching tools: a host of new ways of thinking and doing.


We can also work with individual coaches on specific coach-driven issues. We are fluid and flexible with the development we offer, therefore in addition to our learning activities, we can also work with coaches as consultants on specific coach-driven issues, either face to face or by distance (via Skype, Facetime, Zoom, or phone). 


How to win ethically


1: Coaching in the real (social) world. By definition, coaching is as much a social as it is a scientific process but it’s such an uncommon way of thinking about coaching that it’s an approach that needs a careful and gentle introduction. Changing conceptions about how to be an effective coach and what effective coaching is, starts here.  

2: Why re-think coaching? As soon as you understand how coaching's methods and practices developed you will see how they are far from true and essential to do, but constructed and distorted in often unhelpful ways: a deeper understanding of coaching that illustrates how and why it is so important to think more broadly about what you do. 

3: Coaching knowledge. Knowledge develops through human relationships or a whole series of informal subtle social processes in society, such as language, that collectively act like giant magnets or filters that slant, skewand concealknowledge in ways that most coaches (and people) don't realize. Understanding these processes and how knowledge develops, what knowledge is and how it works is therefore crucial to doing better. 

4: The athletic body. Most athletes need to be strong, but when you understand how knowledge works you will see that important body concepts are left out and how, as a result, training the athletic body may contain practices that are counter-productive and actually hinder performance and make injury more not less likely. See REFRESH for more.

5: "Relations-of-power." Power or "relations-of-power" are the many and complex influences by which people produce meaning, action and behavior for others: the constant human negotiation or shaping of different perspectives. And so understanding its subtle, deeper complexities are fundamental to effective coaching. 

6: Discipline. Discipline is not strict coach control, it’s detailed coach control, and is today aided by an ever-increasing raft of technology and science. And yet such data also has other "more-human effects'"and is far from problem-free or innocent. Meaning you can't coach effectively until you know the "reality" of discipline. 

7: Maximising performance: putting it all together. A better understanding of the full complexities in the social 'realities' of coaching, means changing your underpinning assumptions about what effective coaching is and becoming aware of many factors that previously undermined your athletes. So putting it all together and sharpening your athletes' development by becoming aware of many, many, many more impacting factors means constantly exploring and adapting your new ways of thinking.