Coaching with context provides clues and insights to best address your athletes. Constantly repeating your "golden" cues only stalls this process. Context-based coaching heavily outweighs the classic regurgitated information coaching style.

Raise your hand if you know the coach who regurgitates the same exact cues to every single athlete that steps in the door. We all know this type of coach, the one that vomits loads of information to their clients with their "golden" coaching cues. This type of coach always finds it difficult to get through to their athletes what they want within the constraints of training and performance, and ultimately misses out on building true buy-in and trust. Often times, frustration becomes the result for both the athlete and the coach.

Through context though, a coach can better understand their athletes. This is the beauty of human interaction and connecting with those that we work with. It's important that we take the time to understand their perspective and goals. As coaches, we need to understand where they are coming from, their personality, and their unique background. This is how you individualize your coaching approach to meet the exact needs/goals of each individual athlete. You need to prove to them that you're in their corner with them as their guide. The importance of N=1 cannot be overstated here.


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Matthew Ibrahim is the Lead Performance Coach at TD Athletes Edge with a strong passion in athletic development, sport performance, and context-rich assessment protocols to enhance performance output and build a foundation of resilience. Over the years he has worked with youth and high school athletes, collegiate athletes, and members in professional sports in the NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB, and UFC. His professional work has been featured in major publications such as Men’s Fitness, STACK Media, and The PTDC. A highly sought-after resource and thought leader for strength coaches and sports rehab pro’s alike, he has consulted with the likes of EXOS at Google Headquarters and dorsaVi Technology.

He is quite active on Instagram (@matthewibrahim_) and routinely posts about training, performance and recovery. Follow along here: