Stories, action bias and player autonomy


Simon Nainby is an experienced strength and conditioning coach, with a strong interest in rugby. For a number of years, his blog has been one of the best ways to quickly access all of the latest thinking on coaching. His excellent curation means he has a wealth of ideas to inform his day-to-day coaching.

In the podcast, I’m afraid we went off script almost immediately! I wanted to get him to talk about some of the myths he loves to bust. However, we quickly started to discuss his role as a coach with a representative netball team. His journey with them will be one of the great stories he tells us, as well as making stories a key part of the coaching process. I will definitely be chatting to him again about myths and games constraints, but in this issue you will get ideas and thoughts around the following:

  • How to develop player autonomy in a group which never knew how
  • Helping players to take control of their learning – practical ways, not just the theory
  • What is meant by action bias and how it relates to goalkeepers saving penalties
  • How bias helps to coach more effectively
  • Why you might be called “The Fridge” and you can guess, it’s something you want to avoid
  • Using the right language in coaching at the right time
  • Training in the ugly zone

If you want to find out more about Simon, visit him on Twitter @sinainby or his blog,

The books referenced in the podcast

Stuart Sutherland  Irrationality: The enemy within

Dave Alred  The Pressure Principle

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