BookTry to recall the best coach you’ve ever had. Consider what differentiated them from other coaches; what made them so effective? Was it their knowledge and programming, or did it come down to the way they communicated with you and the way they made you feel? While the former are critical, it is a coach’s words that set that coach apart from the rest.
The Language of Coaching focuses on the impact that communication has on an individual’s ability to learn and perform a movement. Written by performance coach Nick Winkelman, the book examines how instruction, feedback, and cueing can significantly affect training outcomes. Grounded in motor learning and the science of attentional focus, Winkelman seeks to provide practical coaching frameworks that are adaptable and evidence based.
Packed with stunning visuals, the book provides over 25 movement sequences that outline different types of coaching cues, including a visual depiction of unique analogies, such as a sprinter taking off like a jet or an athlete loading into a jump like a spring. The book is filled with a comprehensive collection of cueing frameworks that guide you through the process of creating your own cues for any movement you want to teach. You will also learn how to engage in more productive conversation with your athletes through sample dialogue that uses the book’s cueing philosophy to analyze the exchange.
Whether you are new to coaching or a seasoned veteran, The Language of Coaching will help you grow as a communicator and learn how to not just coach the program, but to coach the person.
CE exam available! For certified professionals, a companion continuing education exam can be completed after reading this book. The Language of Coaching Online CE Exam may be purchased separately or as part of The Language of Coaching With CE Exam package, which includes both the book and the exam.
AudienceSport coaches, strength and conditioning professionals, and personal trainers; also a reference for physical therapists, athletic trainers, physical educators and serious athletes.
Table of ContentsPart I. Learn
Chapter 1. Learn This
Learning to Learn: Lessons From NFL Combine
Car and Driver
The Motor Skill Learning Process
The Performance-Learning Distinction
Chapter 2. Pay Attention
Attention: A Primer
The Movie Theater of the Mind: Attention at Work
The Mind Part 1: Out of Focus
The Mind Part 2: Coming Into Focus
The Mind Part 3: In Focus
Chapter 3. Remember When
Memory: A Primer
Part 1: Working Memory
Part 2: Long-Term Memory
Part 3: Making Memories
Part II. Coach
Chapter 4. Finding Focus
Cueing: A Primer
Part 1: A Cue Is Born
Part 2: The Dark Side of the Cue
Part 3: You Gotta Be Choking Me
Chapter 5. Cue It Up
Constructing Cues: A Primer
Part 1: Cueing in 3D
Part 2: Cue-Tips
Part 3: Clarifying Internal Cues
Chapter 6. Going Analog
Analogies: A Primer
Part 1: Mental Maps
Part 2: Similar
Part 3: Familiar
Part III. Cue
Chapter 7. The Roadmap
Habits: A Primer
The Habit Instinct
A Habit of Cueing
Habit Upgrade: A Three-Step Process
Fishing for Cues
Chapter 8. Strong Cueing
Chapter 9. Powerful Cueing
Chapter 10. Fast Cueing
Reviews“It would take you an entire career of coaching to pick up, just by chance, some of the competencies he outlines—and even then, you’d come up short. Nick’s work will fast-track coaches to effective communication—and, in turn, outstanding results—for their athletes and clients. I wish I’d had this book 20 years ago!”
—Eric Cressey, CSCS, President and Cofounder of Cressey Sports Performance
“Nick is one of the bright young minds in our field. The Language of Coaching continues Nick’s excellent progression from coach, to speaker, and now to writer."
—Michael Boyle, Owner of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning
"Nick Winkelman is what I like to call a ‘coach’s coach.’ He is one of the few people I lean on for advice in our industry. He’s my go-to resource. I will be gifting The Language of Coaching to dozens of coaches and athletes."
—Don Saladino, Celebrity Trainer, Health and Performance Specialist, and Founder and Owner of Drive Health Clubs
"Nick Winkelman takes the science of coaching to another level with this book and delivers effective real-world strategies to improve not only communication but also the ultimate goal—client results. The Language of Coaching is a masterpiece. It's already mandatory reading for all my coaches."
—Alwyn Cosgrove, Fitness Coach and Owner of Results Fitness
“Nick Winkelman’s passion, wisdom, and knowledge have helped to turn the science of motor learning into a digestible, applicable framework. His book, The Language of Coaching, will serve as an invaluable tool for driving results with athletes and clients.”
—Alex Zimmerman, Senior Director of the Tier X Program at Equinox
"Nick Winkelman helped me gain an edge on the combine and take full advantage of my training. His book, The Language of Coaching, will help other athletes do the same."
—Dontari Poe, Defensive Tackle for the Carolina Panthers
“The Language of Coaching is a groundbreaking and meticulously researched book that delivers practical and user-friendly ways for a coach to connect for results. This book should be on every coach’s shelf.”
—Martin Rooney, Founder of Training for Warriors; Coach to Hundreds of NFL, UFC, NBA, WNBA, MLB, and Olympic Athletes; and Author of Coach to Coach
"Nick Winkelman helped improve my mind-set and introduced me to a new way of performing at the highest level. With The Language of Coaching, he will do the same for you.”
—Prince Kelechi Amukamara, Cornerback for the Chicago Bears
"Using a logical, evidence-guided approach, Nick essentially obliterates the communication barrier between coaches and athletes. If your job description includes conveying ideas with the intention of improving the physical capabilities of others, read The Language of Coaching.”
—Andreo Spina, BKin, DC, FRCCSS(C), Sports Specialist Chiropractor, Movement and Mobility Coach, and CEO of Functional Anatomy Seminars
"Drawing on Winkelman’s vast personal experience with high-level athletes, The Language of Coaching unpacks the flaws in our assumptions, examining how apparently small changes in what we say and how we say it can result in more durable learning for the athletes we teach. It will surely prove to be a significant and enduring contribution to the literature of coaching.”
—Doug Lemov, Author of Teach Like a Champion, Teach Like a Champion 2.0, and Practice Perfect
“In The Language of Coaching, Nick has offered an important contribution to the coaching world. A combination of a comprehensive scientific text and a practical operator’s manual, this is a must-read for all coaches.”
—Stuart McMillan, CEO of Altis and Sprint Coach