15 September 2022 / 3-Min Read / Translate↗
It’s a fascinating question and one I have never been asked before, until two weeks ago! My initial reaction was that it was better to not do it. I was of the opinion that you “get all your light from one light bulb“, or having multiple masters would only confuse the pupil, and finally, just like the Sith; there is only one master and one student. Okay, that last example is a stretch, but I’ve been watching LOT of Star Wars stuff lately and it stuck in my mind. Anyway, back to multiple squash coaches question.
At the heart of the question lies a number of important points; the age of the pupil, whether the desire is internal or external, the ambitiousness of the pupil (and perhaps the parent), the natural talent of the pupil, the maturity of the pupil (not always directly related to the age) and perhaps finally, the actual coaches in question. Some coaches might not like pupils working with other coaches. Which raises the question, does the coach have a right to know?
Somebody; the player themselves, the parent or “head” coach needs to filter the information, advice and guidance being given coming from the multiple coaches. Even for a professional, this is a daunting task. But then I realised that unless coaches are offering contradictory information, all that differs is presentation and process, which could also be contradictory, but less so.
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I was over-thinking this. YES, of course you can get squash coaching from multiple coaches at the same time. If you encounter something that is contradictory, talk it through with both coaches and see which answer feels right to you.
Before I continue, I just want to talk about why somebody might want or need to receive coaching from different coaches. If you want to improve and your coach only offers two lessons per month, that’s not enough. When I worked with national-ranked juniors, they often came to me twice or three times per week. Anything less frequent felt like improvement was delayed. So it’s natural that you seek out more time with somebody who can facilitate your improvement.
Another point to consider is that the world is different now. Access to coaching videos and expertise has never been easier. YouTube has plenty of squash channels all teaching you what you need to know. Each video on any particular topic is slightly different, at least in the presentation, if not the actual information offered. I haven’t done it, but if you were to watch every video on YouTube about the squash grip, would that help you or confuse you? Well, as long as most of it is the same, it’s gotta help, right?
When I consider other situations, financial, house-related or car-related, I don’t hesitate to get advice and guidance from multiple sources, so why is coaching so different? Sometimes the information is contradictory and I choose the one that feels right to me. And as long as the player is happy to work with multiple coaches, that’s all that matters. I’ve previously written about the relationship between player and coach, and that relationship is important even if it is via video. If the player feels comfortable with the coach, then that’s a great sign.
So, yes, go ahead and work with more than one coach at a time if it feels right to you. I’d love to hear you thoughts on this.