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The Art of Observation

The art of observation. What details should coaches be looking for? Todd Beane explains why it is important for a coach to ‘observe’ their players rather than just ‘watch’ them.

Are you watching or observing your players?

Many consider these two words synonymous. To watch is to observe and to observe is to watch. But, I find a distinction here that may help us become better at our craft. Let’s take a look at the definitions.

Watch: to see what is done or happens.

Observe: to regard with attention as to learn something.

When I have a chance to evaluate coaches I tend to analyze where they focus their attention while on the sidelines.

Coaches who “watch” tend to follow the ball and are engaged in “what is done or happens”. They tend to respond to the match as would a fan, paying attention to actions on the ball. They will then comment to players on that action. In other words the action taken is the point of departure for their coaching points. They live every moment in real time and follow...

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