I have recently read the new book Conscious Coaching by Coach Brett Bartholomew. The bottom line is that this book could otherwise be titled “Coaching – The Missing Manual.”
It is hard to put into 500 words how many benefits there are to this book. But here goes…
This book is accessible to read yet dense in its analysis of the art and science of coaching.
By the time you have finished reading this book, you’ll have the tools to:
The book starts with Coach Bartholomew’s early high school experiences. This section ends with the realization that he couldn’t go through life compartmentalizing people. In essence, human beings are complex systems and context should not be ignored.
As the book progresses, the discussion turns to the various types of psychometric assessments that are available to help coaches learn about athlete personality. However, it must be made clear to the athletes how this information is going to be used. The author asserts that these types of assessments are mainly underutilized in the athletic world. To be honest, I felt that my passion for developing coaching tools such as 3D Mental Fitness and the Athlete Psychology App was validated.
The next part of the book covers the bright and dark sides of personality. There is a discussion of why and how it is essential to leverage both sides to operate the most effectively. This section concludes with understanding that necessary conflict occurs in the coaching setting and how to handle it most productively. I found this part of the book to be helpful because I see this issue as the most challenging in my career.
The meat of this book are sections containing sixteen different archetypes of athlete personality profiles. Each section provides characteristics, strengths, weaknesses and how to work most effectively with this type of athlete. Also, each archetype description has a first-hand account written by a guest coach author discussing how they handled an athlete that embodies this archetype.
The sheer amount of information provided is a bit overwhelming. The diversity of approaches and the number of variables in play could potentially make your approach paralysis by analysis. However, this is a resource that should be referred to continually. It’s all well and good to be an academic coach, but you’ve got to get your hands dirty and feet wet and discover what works and what does not in your style.
Finally, the closing chapters provide actionable strategies you can employ in your approach. It’s more important to focus on culture, trust and rapport than to figure out the latest science on periodicity, loading, volume and rep schemes (although that should not be ignored).
It took me about five hours to read this book. I consider that a good investment given all the benefit my athletes and students will receive as a result of my efforts. Frankly, the knowledge contained in this book can be applied in any walk of life.
The big question for you is can you afford not to read this book?
(Note: Currently it is selling on Amazon for $3.99 in Kindle Format!!).
This book could be the ideal late Christmas gift for that coach in your life…
My Verdict: 5 Deadlifts Out Of 5.