Blimage Challenge

The blimage challenge, a cow on a trampoline, strange right? and how can I possibly put this image into a coaching context? For numerous days now I have been thinking and coming up with different thoughts of how I can put a cow stood on a trampoline into a coaching context.

Seeing a cow on a trampoline was for sure a shock to the system, would seeing a 6 year old kid doing 30 kick ups be a shock? Im sure it would, but why is this? How would you know that a cow can’t stand on a trampoline or a 6 year old kid is unable to do kick ups unless they try?. You don’t, which is why I believe giving children or cows as we see in the imagine the chance to try things they may surprise you.

Of course I’m not saying that every 6 year old kid can perform 30 kicks up on a regular basis and its clear that each child is different but how do we as coaches know kids aren’t able to do things unless we give them the chance to try things?. As a coach its easy to persume that kids can’t do things maybe because of their age, height or stature but whats the harm in giving them the opportunity to try it and yes failure might occur more than you would hope but kids won’t learn unless they try things. Im sure many coaches are reluctant in giving kids the chance to try things because they don’t want failure in there session or ensuring everything is performed with the technique instructed by the coach, as a coach will that surprise you? will that make you sit back and think “wow, I didn’t know he could do that” personally, I don’t think it will, I think it will take away the personal identity of the player and limit the opportunities they may take to try things.

So back to the image, a cow on a trampoline isn’t something people would be used to seeing and may think it wasn’t right and question why that was happening…

Surely you can link that to football? Seeing a young player dribbling with the ball taking on 4/5 players on a regular basis, I’m sure many coaches aren’t used to seeing that happen and maybe the player gets called greedy by parents for not passing to their son/daughter, for me seeing that identifies the player being given the freedom by his coach to try that, having the confidence to dribble past players with the ball, trying it time after time when I’m sure a large amount of time they may lose the ball. Yes I’m sure the players may get tackled a large amount of time but would the player dare to try that with a angry coach on the sideline giving the player abuse every time the ball is lost, questioning why they didn’t pass earlier, not using the “easiest” option, I don’t think they would.

So how do I get the cow on the trampoline in the first place?

Being restrictive as a coach is not something I enjoy, I enjoy having freedom in terms of letting sessions “look” messy, giving players leadership to create things how they see fit, for example creating areas they believe are suitable. Coaches should enjoy doing things differently, seeing different things, letting players do different things, it’s all part of the learning process for both coaches and my players. Without trying new things it will limit the learning and development process. In the image above the cow challenged itself to stand on the trampoline just like players and coaches should challenge themselves to develop new skills.

To conclude my blimage challenge, in my opinion coaches should strive on allowing players to develop different skills, giving them the opportunity to try new things, with doing this coaches will see new things, things they probably wouldn’t expect to see from players but thats all through giving the players the opportunity to try.


2 thoughts on “You don’t know until you try

  1. Interesting post, Ash – great to see you taking on the challenge! With regards to:

    “I’m sure many coaches are reluctant in giving kids the chance to try things because they don’t want failure in there session or ensuring everything is performed with the technique instructed by the coach”

    How do you/or could coaches go about creating an environment and culture where failure is accepted, if not actively desired by participants?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John! For me failure is a key within the learning process and giving them the opportunity to try and fail is key. Within my session I would do this by using silence as a tool and letting them figure how to turn failure into success. If they are struggling to find an answer I may use question’s to promote thinking and them coming up with solution’s for themselves. Them failing is a good thing however, some coaches may not think so, because of this coaches should praise players for attempting rather than shouting for failing. This would/should give players the confidence to try again.


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