The Importance of understanding a player: A lesson from the movie ‘Blind Side.’


The movie ‘Blind Side’ became famous for so many reasons. Whilst the movie is inspirational to everyone who wants to but lacks motivation to follow their dreams, it also teaches one how much of a difference understanding and caring can make in a person’s life. While it beautifully portrays the biopic of Michael Oher, equally prominent is the character of his adoptive mother Leigh Anne Tuohy. It is a phenomenal movie to watch, especially for coaches and parents, as it gives them an important insight about their blind side; the failure to understand the players in many circumstances.

One of the biggest challenges that a sports coach faces today boils down to understanding a player’s mindset and thinking. This is not a challenge that Michael’s coach faced alone; it is a common issue that many coaches face and struggle to overcome. Michael’s story is based on a sportsman’s resilience, determination, and talent, but most importantly the basic guidance and love given by the adoptive family, which creates a world of difference.

Like any good coach, Michael’s coach identifies his talent, and knows exactly where to place him within the team, and how to train him on the blocking technique. As a coach, he understands the importance of the role and how effective Michael would be protecting the quarterback. But he fails to communicate it to Michael in a way effective enough to make him understand the importance of his role. The most significant scene of the movie is where the coach yells at Michael aggressively despite the best intentions, thereby upsetting Michael and confusing him as to how to go about his game. He is not successful in understanding the player, which makes it difficult for him to execute his strategy.

That is when Michael’s adoptive mother intervenes, walking onto the grounds and trying to make Michael understand the importance of his role. She explains to Michael how important his role is to the team, like how important his role is within the family. She makes him understand this by asking him to protect his quarterback in the same way that he would protect his family; to think of his team as his family and guard them like he would his family. Sandra Bullock, who plays the role of Michael’s adoptive mom Leigh Anne Tuohy very successfully, resonates with him. She understands the game, understands the role, and most importantly, understands Michael. She walks out of the field telling the coach ‘You should really get to know your players’.

The difference between the coach and Tuohy is simple; while the coach fails to understand how to communicate with Michael, Tuohy understands Michael and knows exactly how to communicate with him. This is not an issue faced only by Michael’s coach; many coaches find it challenging to understand the players’ individual personalities, and how it motivates them. 

10 reasons why online coaching should continue after Covid-19

Abertay and Glasgow Caledonian Universities have studied in detail how the lockdown has affected coaches. The Research threw up a few very interesting facts in favor of online coaching despite the fact that face to face sessions were not taking place. Researchers found some interesting reasons as to why online coaching should continue even after the pandemic. They are still monitoring coaching habits during lockdown and even after where many coaches are continuing their online training sessions.

Here are ten reasons why coaches need to continue online learning after the pandemic.

  1. Space to practice sessions during their own time in a familiar setting

The online settings and platforms like Koach allows players to practice their skills in their preferred time in a familiar setting which encourages them to learn new skills.It also allows for family members to be involved in their practice.

  1. Ability to conduct multiple training sessions

With skill maintenance being a core requirement during the pandemic, coaches continued to do multiple training sessions online therefore increasing the skill levels instead of just maintenance.

  1. Improve player-coach relationship further

Coaches maintain one to one relationships with players with the support of platforms where the individual coaching and motivation has benefited the relationship to develop in a positive way.

  1. Increase engagement by family members

When players are being trained online, it gives the parents a chance to engage with the coach and understand the game better while having access to the player’s progress.  

  1. Chance to try different creative coaching methods

With the help of the latest edutainment platforms like Koach, coaches have more interesting ways to coach players while keeping them engaged and excited.

  1. Boost mental health and well-being of players

Online coaching provides space and time for coaches to include morale boosting strategies, thereby improving the mental health and well-being of players.

  1. Increased cohesion among team

Online coaching, when done right, gives a chance for players to collaborate, share their sessions and have common goals within the team which consequently increases team spirit and cohesion.

  1. Redefine performance statistics  

Online edutainment platforms have given coaches access to player analytics and performance statistics to further refine their coaching strategies and improve the players game.  

  1. Access to many visual training resources

Online coaching also allows for the easy dissemination of skills training videos and videos of matches in which the players were involved. This further adds to the skills developed on the field. 

  1. Save time and cost

When certain training and lessons can be done online it saves cost and time for both coaches and players. These cost savings means more money to invest in a fun-coaching platform which will further reduce your admin work.

All these benefits does not indicate that face-to-face coaching should be replaced by online coaching, it only means that online coaching can be used as a very effective supplementary tool for coaches of the new generation.

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