Jason Hettler of Hettler Performance has written a nice blog on the art and science of coaching, a topic that always creates debate and discussion on Art vs Science, when of course coaching is a continual process of testing and evaluating hypotheses, so it's not either or by any means.

The following quote nicely sums up my view on art and science in coaching:

That being said, coaching is more than its individual parts – the sciences. It is the fluid, dynamic and ever-evolving interplay of these parts that create the whole. A whole which cannot be reduced to one element just as a cloud cannot be reduced to one particle. The art comes from blending these sciences into working with inherently individual athletes and maneuvering through any and all obstacles that will arise on a daily basis. The art comes from experience.
Source: http://www.hettlerperformance.com/?p=123
AuthorJoel Filliol

James Vaughn has a blog on a research looking into characterises of the worlds best coaches. 

In summary: Read a lot, know thyself, and know your athletes.

Some key highlights below: 

the study was commissioned to better understand “serial winners”. Fourteen coaches from multiple fields – team and individual sports based around the world – where chosen for their abilities to develop Olympians and title winning dynasties.
This search – according to the data – is driven by a deep dark doubt, driving the obsession to ‘stay ahead’. These coaches are “always striving, driven by the fear of not being good enough”
These elite high performance coaches are visionary leaders, described within the data as ‘benevolent dictators’ – they are future orientated with excellent communication up and down the line: they have the capacity to simplify complexity when they communicate to their athletes. This is not disregarding complexity; they embrace and understand it, but are able to communicate in simple terms.
Most have also undergone a shift in leadership styles, moving towards a leader-follower approach, in which care and empathy are critically important.
these coaches know themselves – they know their core values and what it means to embody them, or how to demonstrate those values to themselves and their athletes.
‘what would have improved their coaching the most’, a theme emerged from all the coaches interviewed: “they said they wished they knew the athletes better”
Source: https://playerdevelopmentproject.com/key-c...
AuthorJoel Filliol

Another interview with yours truly, this time from former British Triathlon colleague Mark Pearce's triathlon website Intelligent Triathlon. The interview touches on a number of areas including my transition from Federation to private coaching, Simon Whitfield's training pre-2008, training in cold weather, the evolution of the sport, and more.

"Working independently means I am not assigned athletes from a federation, and must attract and retain athletes whom I think I can help, and that choose to work with me and join the squad, which is a very positive change, as the attitude is fundamentally different, as we invest in each other, and are accountable to each other."

Follow BTF coach Mark Pearce on twitter. 

AuthorJoel Filliol