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Coaching Tom Daly - The "Peter Pan" Theory
21 June 2012
Taylor & Francis
How do you coach an emotional young man into a strong Olympic hopeful? Tom Daley’s diving coach Andy Banks provides interesting insights into his methods during an interview published in Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/crep20/13/3).
The Peter Pan Theory
Initially feeling that Tom Daley would never make a diver, how did Andy help Tom cope with his feelings and focus on the task at hand?
As Andy explains: “As a child I think one thing that’s very obvious is that they don’t know about emotion… So with Tom initially, as an example, I used what I call the Peter Pan theory. If he wanted to fly, he had to think happy thoughts. Basically the first stage was realising that there was this knot and the emotional kick-in was starting, the downward spiral was on its way. Then we’d stop… coming back [later] with a happy thought, and then we’d see if we could start to fly again.”
Coaching for Olympic success?
When asked about how to coach and prepare divers for the Olympics, Andy believes that it is important to keep the approach the same for any other competition and concentrate purely on performance goals for Tom, and not medals or positions. “The Olympics is no different to anything else. The only difference is the five rings on the wall”, he says. “I don’t do outcome goals. With an outcome goal he’s gonna under-perform. We only do performance goals and the reason for that is you can only control the performance.”
Read the full interview at: