Conscious Coaching Review

03 July 2017 Ben Cartwright coaching, book, review, psychology, strength, training, coach, science



Conscious Coaching: The art and science of building buy in, written by Brett Bartholomew.


This book came very highly recommended from a number of coaches I know so my expectations of it were high, and I'm glad to say it didn't fail to deliver.

Conscious Coaching doesn't have any ‘silver bullet’ exercises or programmes in it, nor does it offer the latest ‘cutting edge’ training methodology. It also has very little reference to football (know as soccer for the benefit of transatlantic relations) or how to develop fitness for football players. So why you may ask is it a crucial text to read for those wanting to develop football fitness? Because you can know the best exercises/programme/methodology in world but if you can't communicate it to your players in a way that resonates with them and get them to ‘buy into’ what your preaching then it's as much use as a waterproof teabag.


It's so much more than a book, it's an exercise in reflection and analysis to establish or confirm the coach you are and the pathway you are following. It has an Intellectual and honest tone that literally pulls no punches. In the book Brett shares personal experience and events that illustrate his journey and how this all relates to the process of the craft and trade that obviously means a great deal to him. He uses personal examples from his own struggles to help illuminate the key areas that form our identity as coaches. He helps us move away from the unhelpful culture of ‘supermen’ and encourages coaches to take ownership of their past experiences in order to shape future practice. Once we have an understanding of our identity then we can move forward with the process of helping our players find theirs.


Brett then sets out a reference from which we can categorise our players (archetypes) and covers in depth each ones strengths and weaknesses. There are master class coaching examples of how best to connect with each archetype and forge the necessary relationship for conscious and effective coaching to take place. What struck a chord with me was how for each archetype I instantly recalled a player in my current team, this allowed me to visualise situations or events I've had with those players that suddenly made sense because of the context the book provides. This book doesn't give you all the answers (it doesn't claim to), it promotes the reader to think in a critical manner. It demands that you recognise and know your players so that you can correctly select the necessary strategy to manage a variety of personalities in ways that have been proven successful through experience and scientific research.


The book receives a 5 star rating from me, and I've no hesitation in adding it to the Football Fitness Federation list of ‘must have’ books for Football Fitness Coaches.




Football Fitness Federation

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