Like any job, there are skills of the trade. Too many coaches confuse knowledge with skill. Today, we want to look hard into one of the underdeveloped skills of coaching: checking for understanding.
As we all know, teaching does not mean learning. We must find ways to understand where the player is currently at so we can best push them to another level of performance.
Failing to appropriately check for the learner’s level of understanding is simply one of the worst mistakes that communicators/coaches make. And it starts with either a lack of questioning or using some variety of the two worst questions in hockey.
Let’s start by looking at a great and poor example of checking for understanding, brought to us by the Vancouver Canucks pre-season for the 2022-23 campaign:
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