Autocratic coaching styles

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Coaching styles can range from dictatorship to a guided discovery style. The autocratic coaching style, in which the coach decides what is to be done and how it is to be accomplished, falls in line with a dictatorship style.

The autocratic coaching style is centred around one-way communication and is taken from the old school of coaching philosophy leaving the athlete out of the decision-making process.The autocratic style of coaching is broken into two types.

Autocratic Approach -- Telling style

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According to Brian MacKenzie, a level four performance coach in the United Kingdom, the telling autocratic coach is content on instructing his athletes by defining the rules and parameters of a given activity without seeking input from the athlete. When using the autocratic telling approach, you must be direct while using terms that the athletes can relate to.

Autocratic Approach -- Selling Style

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While the selling autocratic style is similar to the telling autocratic style, a few subtle differences exist. According to MacKenzie, the main difference between an autocratic telling coach and autocratic selling coach is that the autocratic selling coach explains what is required to perform the activity and also the purpose of the activity. In addition, the athletes are encouraged to ask questions and confirm that they understand the assignment in the selling approach. MacKenzie added that in the United Kingdom, an autocratic showing coach focuses on demonstration as his main teaching method.

Factors in Deciding Using the Autocratic Style

When deciding on what coaching style to use, you need to consider several factors. The most important factor in choosing a coaching style is finding one that fits your personality. The second element to consider is your personal experience and also the needs of your team. Generally, an autocratic coaching style is best suited for coaching younger, and less motivated and skilled athletes.

How to Talk to Athletes

When talking to your athletes while using the autocratic style, you must literally get down on his level by kneeling or crouching and quietly let him know what he is doing right, according to Brian Grasso, who is considered to be one of the premier experts in youth athletics development. Grasso added that while talking to your athlete you should ask him whether he has any questions about what he is doing. The key element when talking to your athlete, according to Grasso, is maintaining a patient tone of voice.