Once again, more notes from The Talent Code: After studying some of the world’s most successful coaches in various fields, Coyle has devised a list of the “skills” needed to coach effectively. He calls them the “Four Virtues of Master Coaches”:
First: The Matrix — A great teacher has the capacity to always take his student deeper into the skill. Most master coaches are older (in their sixties or seventies) but all have spent decades learning how to teach others to excel. Many of them were once promising talents who failed to succeed and then set about to figure out why they failed.
Second: Perceptiveness — Master coaches seek to know each of their students so that they can customize their instructions to fit the personality and patterns of the student’s life. This is taken quite seriously. Coyle says “the coaches I met approached new students with the curiousity of an investigative reporter.”
Third: The GPS Reflex — Most master coaches deliver their instructions in short, vivid, high-definition bursts, rather than through long lectures. They never begin their sentences with “Please, would you” or “Do you think” or “What about.” Rather, they speak in short imperatives, “Now do this” or “Not that way, this way.”
Fourth: Theatrical Honesty — Great coaches take different approaches to different students (raising their voices (or lowering them), asking questions to see how the student reacts, being mean, tough, or easygoing and laid back). This is not mere hokum but a serious and honest effort to make a connection for the purpose of assisting the student to grow in his ability.