CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Enhancing Coach-Athlete Communication with Nick Winkelman

About the Author: Eric Cressey

We’re excited to welcome Nick Winkelman, Head of Athletic Performance & Science for Irish Rugby, to this week’s podcast. Nick is extremely well versed in motor learning and how to best get through to athletes, and you’ll see why in this interview. It’s timely, as his new book, The Language of Coaching, was just released.

A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to https://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you’ll receive a free 10-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • Where Nick’s original interest in improving the way coaches coach movement began
  • What observations Nick made while watching his athletes compete on NFL Combine Day – and how they transformed his perspective on coaching
  • What the lowest hanging fruit is in terms of how coaches can improve their communication with athletes
  • Why coaches need to add a column for cues in their program and how coaches plan their language to maximize their influence on athletes
  • How motivation influences motor learning and how language can be leveraged to create engagement, investment, and motivation
  • What simple tactics coaches can employ to increase buy-in and give individuals an active role in their training experience
  • Why coaches need to focus their time and attention on coaching the athlete and not the program
  • How understanding purpose – specifically more purposeful coaching – transformed Nick’s coaching philosophy, strategy, and interventions
  • Why Nick has learned to watch more reps and talk less, and how coaches can create a safe environment for athletes to explore movement and “fail forward”
  • How each word spoken and action communicated to an athlete either builds or erodes the coach-athlete relationship and how professionals can avoid the detriments of overcoaching
  • When the right time to communicate with an athlete is and how Nick models the timing of his coaching communication
  • What the difference is between short loop and long loop coaching communication
  • How understanding the coaching communication loop can give us a better understanding of how to teach, challenge, and progress athletes
  • What research states about the impact of cue frequency and cue type on performance and long-term athletic development
  • What simple, actionable strategies coaches can use to help concepts stick with athletes, such as recalling clients’ names and celebrating small wins
  • How coaches can use analogy, an athlete’s language, and emotional hashtags in the learning process to enhance memory
  • How emotions influence our memory and how coaches can tap into emotion to allow their interactions with athletes to be memorable
  • How analogy can be specifically leveraged to tie previous learned knowledge into the learning of new abilities
  • Why internal cueing isn’t inherently bad and where external and internal cueing fit into an athlete’s learning
  • You can follow Nick on Twitter at @NickWinkelman – and be sure to check out his awesome new book, The Language of Coaching.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today – 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) – with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I’d encourage you to give it a shot, too – especially with this great offer.

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