by: Brandon Richey
Coaching Skills: It’s All About Cuing!
“The first rule to mastery is being able to follow instructions.”–Richard “Mack” Machowicz
Now I don’t know if the quote above originated with Richard (the host of Future Weapons), but he’s the one I first heard make this quote and it stuck with me. The key to mastery is being able to follow instructions and in addition to this being able to deliver clear concise instructions is also just as valuable. It is the latter that I want to discuss today!
The Master Of Cuing…
Cuing is a technique used by us coaches and trainers to communicate a message to a trainee or athlete regarding the execution of a particular movement or exercise. When performing movements certain adjustments often need to be made by the trainee in order to more effectively perform a lift or exercise.
The fact is that one could probably write a book on coaching the deadlift, squat, or bench press if every aspect of each one of these lifts is examined in deep detail. However, when it comes to coaching an athlete through a movement we (us coaches/trainers) don’t have time to sit down and explain a dissertation on technique for the particular lift being coached.
The fact is that we need to get things done so it is with cuing that we get the trainee to perform the desired set up, physical adjustments, and movements we want by giving them concise instructions in 2 to 3 word statements. I’ll explain further here in the video.
Superman your chest! Butt back! Crush your grip! Brace your stomach for impact! These are all examples of cues that can work great for communicating how a trainer can get an athlete to achieve the desired result for performing a certain move.
Without effective cuing an athlete can get overwhelmed or fail to understand what is being asked of them. If the first rule to mastery is to follow instructions then maybe the 2nd rule is that those instructions must be delivered clearly by the coach or trainer that is responsible?
If a coach or trainer is not yet comfortable in doing this then another problem is that they may come across as not being confident in their own abilities and can create doubt in the mind of the athlete being coached. I mean the last thing you want is to end up being seen like Coach Lasso.
Ok maybe that was a bit extreme, but then again maybe not! The point is that you want to be able to earn the respect of your athletes/trainees. Trust me, nothing can do this better than being able to quickly and confidently spit some easy to follow cues at the athletes/trainees that are being coached.
If you’re a coach or trainer then practice coming up with some different cues to pack the shoulders, to help the athletes hinge their hips, and to correct general posture for various exercises. Put a general game plan together prior to walking out onto the training floor that way you are ready with some simple adjustments in store.
That about wraps it up. I hope you enjoyed today’s post and if so then please make sure you drop your questions and comments in the box below this article. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart.