Photo by football wife
The 70-30 Split is a book on coaching psychology by Gerald Brence; it is the culmination of more than two decades of coaching high school football, detailing his experiences and insights.
There are many qualities that make up a good coach. What’s more, these are not innate attributes but are gleaned and developed from careful insights and life experience. You don’t need to be a master psychologist who can zero in on minor facial cues to discern the bigger picture of someone’s emotions and inner character, nor do you need to be a heavenly saint.
In The 70-30 Split, a book on coaching psychology by Gerald Brence, he talks about the share with which effective coaching is based on. Although this article won’t cover it too thoroughly, the theory that Coach Brence espouses is the idea that there has to be mutual involvement and effort when it comes to coaching—the coach provides input, and so does the coachee. That’s where the 70-30 split comes in.
So, what is a quality coach anyway?
A coach is someone who provides support to someone through both mentoring and teaching but is neither both. A coach may act like a mentor or a teacher sometimes, but they are not. If you were to line them up, a coach would have to be halfway between a mentor and a teacher. Where a teacher might have goals, and a mentor doesn’t, a coach fluctuates depending on the situation. A coach is oftentimes, but not always, a leader—they strive to take their charges to better heights and always know how to make a decision in heated moments.
Yet those are very vague statements and don’t really paint a clear picture of what coaching entails.
It would be easier simply to list off the universal attributes of a quality coach. Here are those characteristics:
Enthusiasm. A good coach should be someone who sees the potential in anything and anyone, or at least someone who knows how to go looking for it. In contrast, a bad coach is someone who goes for the obvious; they don’t go for a challenge and would rather not do their work than put in the effort. A good coach is akin to a polisher; they know how to make people shine, while a bad coach keeps them under the dirt.
Positivity. One thing a quality coach should have endless reserves of should be positivity. This doesn’t mean that they have to bear a grin every day even a cyclone passes them by, only that they should never dwell on mistakes and failures for far too long. They are the first ones to always say that there are more chances and that setbacks don’t mean anything in the long run, only more practice and such. A bad coach is someone who gives up after the first setback or someone who gradually declines in effort after one.
Self-Awareness. A good coach has a handle on the weaknesses and strengths of both themselves and their charges—with this knowledge, they know how to set limitations and boundaries. They are also people who know when and how to take the responsibility seriously and appropriately. A bad coach is someone who blames every mistake and failure on everyone but themself. A quality coach knows how to receive feedback and always considers their charges’ opinions on things.
Supportiveness. A quality coach is a supportive pillar to their charges. Whatever happens, they are sometimes the first people to be there (outside of relatives and friends). Whatever the coach is there for, it is undoubtedly something that is very challenging, and the coach should be someone who can help their charges through those hurdles and obstacles. One can even say that the coach plays the role of a part-time psychiatrist or counselor. A bad coach would never attempt to console their charges.
Trustfulness. Above everything, the best quality that a coach has is that they exude trustworthiness and are trusting in return. Every successful relationship is one that is based on trust, and a coach-client relationship is no different. When you are with a coach for a long time, it is inevitable that there will be moments where you show your bad sides and your weak sides. You need a coach that will understand what you’re going through and knows how to keep things between the two of you.