1 on 1

1 on 1 coaching can be one of the most powerful tools to make that high school varsity team, get that college scholarship or simply refine that shooting technique for the weekend rec. team.

The athlete can receive more relevant feedback in one hour of individualized coaching than they’d receive from a whole season of team coaching.

Here are 5 easy steps to make sure the sessions you deliver have a huge impact on your athlete:

1. Know The Athlete

Know the athlete

If you’ve never met your athlete before, ring them up, ring the parent up – find out all you need to know about them before the first session to be as effective as possible.


What does the athlete want to work on?  What are their weaknesses?  What are they already confident about?  Take time to know exactly what your athlete needs and wants!


What makes little Johnny tick?  What makes Johnny the most motivated Johnny he can possibly be?  Is Johnny shy? Will you need to ask lots of questions in order to get your athlete to open up and be themselves in front of you.

How you coach your athlete should be dependent on their personality.  Be a chameleon, change your style to suit them so you get the very best out of them!

Personal Stuff

What team does Johnny support?  Who is his favourite player?  Have they ever been to see a real game?  All these questions give you ways to make a connection with your athlete.  The more you know about them, the better you’re able to coach them.

2. Plan Your Session


Take those objectives you learnt from the initial phone conversation and make your session relevant to Johnny.  If you turn up and make it up as you go along, Johnny knows, Johnny’s mum knows and worst of all, you know.

Show Johnny your plan, let him know exactly what it is he’s going to learn today – this itself is a motivator for him.

It shows you care, it shows you’ve thought about him, it shows you know what you’re talking about, it shows you take pride in what you do.  It may also mean this athlete and their parent want a load more sessions with you, becoming a life long client.

3. Turn up early


Ok, so you don’t play for Real Madrid, Chelsea or Manchester United, but your punctuality as a coach is crucial.

Your cleats are on, your cones are set up, you even have time to practice your juggling skills, and THEN the client turns up.  This says a lot about you and about the session you’re about to conduct.

You’re organised, you’re prepared, but you’re also so comfortable in what you’re about to do that you have time to juggle and have a bit if fun – this is what you love doing after all!  Plus it also shows the athlete that your skills are no joke and you know what you’re doing!

4. Make it fun

we're having fun

Most of your 1 on 1 sessions will probably be with youngsters and of course all they want to do, is have fun!

Make your athlete laugh, make them smile, make them tired and out of breath.  At the end of it they will get that ‘just achieved something’ feeling that we all love.  You know, the feeling you get right after exercising.

Add in the technical stuff too and make sure little Johnny is learning, but most importantly, make it fun!

5. Follow up


At the end of the session, go over what Johnny learnt today.  If a parent is there, bring them over and tell them too.  Even get the athlete to tell the parent what they learnt as a small assessment of their understanding.

Tell Johnny what he did great on today, what can still be improved and what he should be doing from now until the next time you see him.

Walk back to the car with the parent and the athlete, chat about things that are non-coaching related – as long as you’re genuine (no-one likes a suck-up)!  All of this goes towards you creating a relationship with the athlete, the athletes family and knowing your client that bit better.

Give us comments on what your best tips for a great 1-on-1 coaching session are, let us know your keys to success so we can share with all and provide the best sessions possible.  Happy coaching!!