Is aggressive coaching a proper way to help an athlete become a stronger player?

I have to write an essay about this topic. Can someone help me with it? Thanks

1 Answer
Jun 22, 2017

It would depend on individual circumstances.


It would depend on what is meant by aggressive. One way to analyse it would be to define aggressive as positive aggressive coaching and negative aggressive coaching.

By positive I would refer to examples where the nature of the aggression is for the benefit of the athlete, is interpreted in that way, and has positive, beneficial outcomes.

One way would be the coaching of Alex Ferguson at Aberdeen FC and Manchester United.

Ferguson was fiercely competitive. Born and raised in the shipyards of Govan his own experiences of management as a player shaped his subsequent approach to the job.

Ferguson's coaching was aggressive and his famous hairdryer rants are a good example.

However he would not have achieved the remarkable success he had at both clubs if it was simply negative aggression. This enthusiasm often expressed in an aggressive tone was coupled with a deep understanding of the game and brilliant man management.

Therefore his aggressive coaching was certainly a proper way in which his athletes became stronger players both physically and even more so in developing a winning psychology.

However there are examples which have the opposite effect.
One can consider the approaches to coaching of the Soviet bloc states in the 70's and 80's.

In countries such as the USSR and East Germany there was remarkable success on the track, gymnastics and in the swimming pool. This was particularly marked in the case of East Germany whose success relative to its size and population was unparalleled.

However such success was at a huge cost. The aggressive and widespread use of enhance performing drugs such as hormone growth had catastrophic effects on the athletes. Indeed some have had to undergo sex-change operations because of the level of drugs administered. Moreover the aggressive approaches of coaches towards athletes such as Olga Korbut led to serious mental breakdown and allegations of sexual abuse.

In these circumstances aggressive coaching did not make the athletes stronger players, certainly in the long term.

It would be wrong to imply that widespread drug abuse and its serious medical consequences were confined to Soviet bloc countries. There are also plenty of examples from the West.