Topic 11 – Ask meaningful questions

Ask Meaningful Questions

When coaching players, asking questions is very important as  previously mentioned.  Asking questions is only beneficial for both players and coaches if the coach asks meaningful questions.  If coaches ask irrelevant questions, or questions the players can not understand, then there will not be any benefit.  

One aspect of asking meaningful questions is using words that players understand.  When coaches use terms that players do not understand, for example using advanced strategic terms when asking a question about a play, or their philosophy, players will not understand.  If players do not understand, they can not answer.  Therefore, no one involved benefits from the question, in fact, it wastes practice time

Asking open ended questions is one way to make players think more creatively, rather than a yes or no question.  Open ended questions also usually result in open dialogues after the question is asked.  During dialogue players have the opportunity to gain true understanding of the topic, whether or not they participate or just listen in.  More players will participate in open dialogue, meaning more players benefit.

Sometimes players need time to think of an answer.  It is important for the coach to not be overly aggressive in getting an answer quickly.  There are other simple conversational gestures that coaches can do to increase a player’s confidence when answering questions.  Some of these gestures are simply smiling, making eye contact.  It is also important to listen with full attention and empathy, this is another queue coaches can use to let players know they are listening.  

As a coach it can be hard to admit when a player is right, especially when it means the coach themselves are wrong.  The coach should think that the player is right, even before they have answered.  Sometimes this thought process is necessary when listening to players answer questions.  Having an open mind will benefit both the coach and player.  

By utilizing the steps above, coaches can ask meaningful questions,  which keeps everyone involved more engaged, as well as progressing and retaining information.

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