About the book
Try to recall the best coach you’ve ever had. Consider what differentiated them from other coaches; what made them so effective? Was it their knowledge and programming, or did it come down to the way they communicated with you and the way they made you feel? While the former are critical, it is a coach’s words that set them apart from the rest.
The Language of Coaching focuses on the impact that communication has on an individual’s ability to learn and perform a movement. Written by performance coach Nick Winkelman, the book examines how instruction, feedback, and cueing can significantly affect training outcomes. Grounded in motor learning and the science of attentional focus, Winkelman takes you on a journey, guiding you through practical coaching frameworks that will help you adapt your language to the learning needs of those you support.
Packed with stunning visuals, the book provides over 25 movement sequences that outline different types of coaching cues, including a visual depiction of unique analogies, such as a sprinter taking off like a jet or an athlete loading into a jump like a spring. The book is filled with a comprehensive collection of cueing frameworks that guide you through the process of creating your own cues for any movement you want to teach. You will also learn how to engage in more productive conversation with your athletes through sample dialogue that uses the book’s cueing philosophy.
Whether you are new to coaching or a seasoned veteran, The Language of Coaching will help you grow as a communicator and learn how to coach the person with the same precision as you do the program.
Nick Winkelman is the head of athletic performance & science for the Irish Rugby Football Union. His primary role is to oversee the delivery and development of strength & conditioning and sports science across all national (Men and Women) and provincial teams (Leinster, Munster, Connacht, and Ulster). Before working for Irish Rugby, Nick was the director of education and training systems for EXOS (formerly Athletes' Performance), located in Phoenix, AZ. As the director of education, Nick oversaw the development and execution of all internal and external educational initiatives. As a performance coach, Nick oversaw the speed and assessment component of the EXOS NFL Combine Development Program and supported many athletes across the NFL, MLB, NBA, National Sports Organizations, and Military. Nick completed his PhD through Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions with a dissertation focus on motor skill learning and sprinting. Nick is a recognized speaker and consultant on human performance and coaching science and has numerous book chapters and peer reviewed papers focusing on the intersection between coaching language and athlete learning.
“It would take you an entire career of coaching to pick up, just by chance, some of the competencies he outlines—and even then, you’d come up short. Nick’s work will fast-track coaches to effective communication—and, in turn, outstanding results—for their athletes and clients. I wish I’d had this book 20 years ago!”
—Eric Cressey, CSCS, President and Cofounder of Cressey Sports Performance
“Nick is one of the bright young minds in our field. The Language of Coaching continues Nick’s excellent progression from coach, to speaker, and now to writer."
—Michael Boyle, Owner of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning
“The Language of Coaching is a groundbreaking and meticulously researched book that delivers practical and user-friendly ways for a coach to connect for results. This book should be on every coach’s shelf.”
—Martin Rooney, Founder of Training for Warriors; Coach to Hundreds of NFL, UFC, NBA, WNBA, MLB, and Olympic Athletes; and Author of Coach to Coach
"Nick Winkelman takes the science of coaching to another level with this book and delivers effective real-world strategies to improve not only communication but also the ultimate goal—client results. The Language of Coaching is a masterpiece. It's already mandatory reading for all my coaches."
—Alwyn Cosgrove, Fitness Coach and Owner of Results Fitness
"Nick has unlocked the superpower shared by highly effective coaches around the world. Great coaching is directly correlated to precise and purposeful communication. Cleaning up communication is as critical as correcting compensatory movement patterns. Nick has relentlessly worked through the research and has the practical knowledge that comes only from thousands of coaching sessions. The Language of Coaching will make you and our field better."
--Mark Verstegen, Founder and President of EXOS