This is a follow up to the Understanding the Q Model post and triggered by this post by Wayne Goldsmith. I love Mr. Goldsmith’s approach, but his assertion that a motivated coach can accomplish in 20 minutes what takes most coaches 20 years. I see it a little differently.
All coaches arrive at the starting line of coach-dom with varying levels of raw capacity to (Q Model) handle complex issues and a wide array of preferences and interests (HP – personality). What does this mean?
- Capacity to handle complexity in the coaching / athletic performance domain follows the levels in the Q Model as described below.
- Barring major trauma, everyone grows their Q Level capacity over the productive portion of their lifetime.
- Not all coaches are on the same growth curve, so guidelines around how many years of experience it takes to evolve to a particular stage of coaching ability are broad brush generalizations at best.
- Capacity jumps are difficult to influence if they can be influenced at all. Whether they can or not depends on which expert you ask.
- Preferences and interests make some coaching-related skills easier to come by than others. In some cases, particular coaching capabilities will be so difficult to achieve as to be nearly impossible.
The first three bullets are about applying the Q Model to the athletic coaching domain. I can’t take much credit for the information below. I shared Mr. Goldsmith’s coaching stages with Q Model developer Stan Smith and he wrote the descriptions below with some minor edits from me.
The Coaching Stages According to the Q Model:
Stage One - I coach people about procedures and rules – about the basics. I coach about What. I am behaviorally prescriptive.
Stage Two – I coach people to implement best processes and practices. I coach them in How to perform for each specific portion of their challenge. I am process prescriptive. I help them do better in each game or solve each problem
Stage Three – I coach each person according to their goals and capability. I consider Who I’m coaching and tailor my coaching to them. I am individually responsive. I help them clarify the best option for this season or problem.
Stage Four – I coach according to the to fit between the person and their development. I evaluate across multiple coaching strategies, systems and assignments and I decide Which option will leverage the needs of the person, the team, the sport or problem. I enable them to understand the interdependence and links between a host of relevant systems necessary to achieve goals.
Stage Five – I no longer coach. I mentor and collaborate. I help the person (and their support staff) figure out Why they are involved in the sport or problem and how the sport or problem can enable them to shape their life. I enable them to develop principles and policies they will apply to problems.
Stage Six – I apply various principles based on consideration of variables (talent, preferences, competencies, etc.) and trends internal and external to the athlete (or team of athletes). I help the athlete(s) determine Whether a particular strategy or protocol fits the program.
Stage Seven – I think through the direction of the sports program or the discipline. I communicate that vision to the coaches and mentors that collaborate on taking the program Where it could go.
*I think more tweaking is needed, so please share your thoughts and recommendations on the topic. See Understanding the Q Model for reference.
Can You Accelerate Your Development up the Q Levels? Regarding the 4th bullet point above the coaching stages, I’d like to deal with this topic in a future post.