What if you don´t have a Sport Science department to support you with data?
Only the big teams with high budgets have Sport Science departments to collect data. They gather all kinds of data. Heart rates, RPE´s, body weight, results of saliva samples, etc, etc are collected and put into a spreadsheet. This data is then presented to the technical staff. We have to ask ourselves if these numbers are really important. Reason to discuss this is that most clubs/coaches in the world don´t have a Sport Science department. Some don´t even know what a sport science department is, does or can do. These coaches have to rely on the basics.
Most coaches are alone on the pitch every night and have to handle everything by themselves. If they are lucky they have an assistant. The Sport Science department rely heavily on science. The coach has two tools to measure stuff. His eyes and his voice. Am I seeing what I am looking at and his voice for asking questions and coaching his players. In other words verbal and non-verbal communication. The coach retrieves his data by communicating with his players.
What if you don´t have a medical staff on sight every session?
The same can be said about the medical staff. Not all teams have a medically trained person available at every session of the week. Most of the time they don´t even have access to a physio or other medically trained person at all. Some players don´t even visit a doctor or physio to check minor niggles or potential injuries. Players often «rest» themselves back to training/play. If you are lucky you have a player with a medical background that can help out. If not, the only tools left as a coach are your eyes and your voice. Your eyes to see if you really understand what you are looking at and your voice to ask questions. In other words communication, both verbal and non-verbal. The coach knows his players best. You should be able to see if a players runs «different» then normal. Here is your chance to improve your communication.
What if you have to rely on the only tool you have available?
Imagine not having access to a state of the art sport science department that can measure all there is or a highly trained medical staff. What do you do? I can imagine that there were no doctors or sport science departments available when football was «invented» back in the days. Most clubs/coaches still don´t have access to this luxury. Let alone know how to use them properly for the best of the team.
The coach should use cheapest tool there is, which is communication. As we all know this is also the hardest one. Communicating at the same level and wave length is not easy. The coach can «read» his players as no one else can. At least if he really sees what he is looking at. He sees when a player is not doing his basic tasks anymore. He should be able to see when a player runs “different”. You come a long way with simple questions like: «How do you feel today?» or «How did you sleep last night?» or «How is your foot?»
If there is good communication between you and your players a certain trust is built. This trust will bring you a long way just by simply using your eyes and voice.
We have to do the basics right first.
Thanks for sharing.