In coaching, some styles prove to be more successful than others. In order to get their team and their players to victory, coaches must think seriously about their approaches and how they want to be seen. One coaching style that has been found to help many coaches successfully run their teams is “lean coaching.” Although it is a very successful style, not many coaches are familiar with lean coaching or how it can build one’s methods:

Defining Lean Coaching

Lean coaching comes from the method of “lean writing.” Lean writing is defined as being not too wordy and can get the point across without any fuss or fluff. When applied to a new coaching style, a lean approach means eliminating anything unnecessary, or “trimming the fat.” Too many excess tasks and tribulations can weaken a player and the team as a whole. When coaching, it’s important for every game, practice, and decision made to have a purpose and to move the team in the right direction. 

Avoid Redundancy at All Costs

When using lean coaching to improve your methods, it’s important to not be redundant. In order to accomplish this, you must really think about the clutter you are accumulating in your current coaching style. Think about how many drills you run, specifically drills that may be unnecessary and the ones that actually require the most attention. If any are found to be redundant, they could be doing more harm than good.

Choose Your Words Wisely

It’s easy to get wrapped up in drills and tend to over explain lessons to your players. As a coach, it’s important to choose your words wisely and understand how you are communicating. When interjecting as a coach, stick to precise and well thought out instructions. It’s easy to say things such as “move,” “keep going,” or “let’s go,” but often, these instructions fall short and have little impact. Instead, give instructions that will actually motivate your team. It’s also important to know the right time to do so and to avoid yelling whenever necessary (with the exception being mid-game communication).

Stay Focused

When implementing lean coaching, it can take time to get rid of old habits. If a coach has been adept to a certain leadership style his or her entire career, suddenly changing that style can be extremely challenging. This is why it’s so important to always stay focused when applying new coaching. Take a second to think over the drills you’ve chosen and their efficiency. Even if it’s a drill you’ve practiced time and time again, it can be an extremely beneficial one depending on how well your players’ skill sets are developing.