Coaching Keeping the Unique Relationship:

In fact, one of the barriers to the setting of coals is that learners feel as if they are not accomplishing them. Overcoming this barrier, however, is relatively simple. For instance, Taekwando is a sport that involves those from a variety of age groups and backgrounds. Attaining the skills to be proficient in the sport takes a great time commitment, but because the skills are broken down into belt levels, students see their accomplishments in a timely manner and are often motivated to continue. In addition to organization and motivation, goals can be used for measurement purposes, determining, amongst other progress, if the learner has achieved the goal or needs more work. For this reason, it is important not only for the coach to set goals, but for the learner to explore and discuss his or her own goals. As Meginson and Clutterbuck suggest that “the best learning often takes place on the edge of what is known and accepted,” or near the “discomfort zone” it is important to have the learner discuss his or her goals to determine why he or she is being lead to an uncomfortable place (24).

Finally, a trusting relationship and sound goals can only move forward into an excellent coaching relationship if both the teacher and learner can communicate effectively. For communication to be effective, however, the coach must set up an environment that is ripe for communication. Turning to Maslow once again, the coach must assess his or her learner in terms of physiological needs, safety needs, love and acceptance needs, and self-esteem needs (Huitt).

Only after these needs are met will learners be in the position to explore, allowing effective communication to take place. Whether the teacher wants to communicate with the student about a technique that he or she is still having trouble grasping or wants to speak about an issue that has been bothering the learner, making sure his or her needs are met before the session is integral to an affective session. When instructing, teaching strategy holds that both verbal and non-verbal communication can enhance the learning process. For example, one might begin with giving non-verbal prompts to jog the learners memory. If this fails, a verbal prompt may be given. Thus, communication takes the shape of both a tool for personal interaction between student and learner, but also a tool for coaching and teaching.

While the coaching relationship is both important and unique to many students, athletes, and competitors, it is a relationship that can be perfected with deliberate trust, goal setting, and affective communication. Although the relationship is complex, teachers and learners can quite quickly accomplish meaningful relationships by staying in tune to accepted practices and the learners own needs.


Huitt, W. (2004). Maslows hierarchy of needs. Educational Psychology Interactive.

Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved October 12, 2008, from,

Megginson, David & Clutterbuck, David. (2004). Techniques for Coaching and Mentoring. Boston:.


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