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I'm sure there are a lot of 50 / 50 rules out there. This one relates to coaches (and athletes) and their ability to spend 50% of their time instructing and 50% of their time listening. The mistake many young coaches make is that they think they have to be instructing all the time, and their athlete or athletes will listen. As these coaches become more experienced they start to realise it's a pretty ineffective way to coach. We all want to be engaged and we don't tend to do that when someone is talking all the time unless they are telling an amazing story.

Being engaged is taking an active part in the learning process, and this can be easily done by the coach asking questions and really listening.

So the 50 / 50 rule is a challenge to coaches and also to athletes for every instruction there has to be a question. I include the athlete in this because you can use this rule for self learning. You can tell yourself to do an activity and then when you do it you can ask yourself a question to determine why it was successful or how an error was made. The athlete can then listen to themselves as they self-analyse their performance. From a coaches point of view it is instructing their athlete or athletes to do something and then before telling them want went well or what went wrong they could ask the athlete for their thoughts. We have people building industries on the 'why' question, but there is nothing wrong with asking all the other relevant questions such as 'what happened', 'how did it happen', 'when did it happen', and 'why did it happen'? The true secret to success after this is to actively listen; really listen to the answers and you may even find that more questions arise. Whether it's a coach or an athlete doing this the learning process is so much more effective because there exists a level of understanding that goes hand in hand with this process, and understanding, true understanding improves performance.

So this weeks Performance Pick is the 50 / 50 Rule of Communication. Try it.

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