Think about this for a moment! You may know what you coach or why you coach but have you considered how you coach?
As a coach you can use a variety of teaching styles in your lessons with students. You could be more familiar with the words coaching or instructional styles or even facilitative methods or approaches depending on your discipline and training. Many equestrian coaches use a more direct style of teaching in their lessons where the coach gives commands or demonstrates and the students follow their cues.
Take the survey here about equestrian coaching styles
Think of one of your lessons where you say: Whole ride, trot and the whole ride trots on or you say: Everyone, come in here and everyone comes in together to the designated place. These are typical examples where you as the coach are making all or almost all of the decisions and taking responsibility for the students’ learning in the lesson.
Another similar style of teaching allows the students to take a little more responsibility in making decisions by practising for a set time on their own or working with a partner. Does this type of teaching style sound familiar? By taking more responsibility and making more of the decisions, students can also assess their own performance against set criteria or choose the level of difficulty to participate.
If you use words such as Command, Practice, Reciprocal, Self-check or Inclusion when you talk about your teaching style/s in coaching, you are most likely using teaching styles that encourage students to reproduce existing knowledge, replicate models, recall information and practice skills. If, for example, you are teaching your students how to brush their horse correctly, pick out their feet safely, or ride through a showjumping grid several times, you are most likely using these teaching styles.