What is ‘collaborative crew coaching’?


You’ve probably heard about there being 2 coaching styles

  • command and control – also known as ‘my way or the highway’
  • collaborative team or crew coaching

What are they and how do they apply to rowing?

Andrej Lamanis – Head coach The Breakers professional basketball team has this to offer :

At half time I always ask “what have you guys got?”  that’s always my first question to the team.  We are creating an environment that they are involved in the process, they are encouraged to say their piece.  I arrive in the locker room and they are already talking.  Sometimes I don’t add any more.  I let players come in and interrupt me because they are out there playing, I let it happen.  That is my style and who I am and how I work best.

When you let players have the frequent involvement – sometimes it can feel like you’re letting the players take control.  Actually it gives me more power because I have reader buy-in.  They are all part of the process and therefore they all hold themselves accountable to the process. If they suggest something, they want to make sure it woks.  It has given me more opportunity to influence the group than being the hard-assed taskmaster.
So as a rowing coach, how often do you ask “How is it going?”  Does everyone in the crew give you feedback?  Do you ask individuals as well as the more vocal?  Have you set the ground rules so it’s OK for everyone to speak out?

Jim Flood has some great insights into coaching styles and how to ‘balance’ the crew:coach relationship from his seminar slides.

Which coaching style do you prefer?

Do you prefer the coach who just tells you what to do?  Or do you like to be consulted and involved in the decision making for the crew?

How do new players adapt and learn this new process.  New guys often have nothing to say – they want to be told.  When we scout we go through the scout reports and we tell the players to watch video of the opponents.  the US guys particularly were asking ‘how do I guard the guy’ – I wanted them to read the scout report, watch video and make their own decisions to play that guy compared to last time they played him and become better players.  You see some of them really grow through the process.

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