Joe Shaw:
Each week we'll be presenting another part of Joe's revolutionary coaching programme, that helped guide David Palmer and John White to the top of the game.

The Program is applicable to all sports, and represents an invaluable resource for any coaches who have the foresight,
the inspiration, and the commitment to make it work for them.


The full program,
as originally published,
is available on the
Coaching section of
David Palmer's website.



05-Sep, Week SIX:


When you see a top player like David Palmer performing consistently at such a high level, you wonder why he had made it and others with more natural talent and ability have not. You observe his coach Shaun Moxham, and you wonder what his role is in this performance, and what is it that is different in the Training Program that ensures success.


The coach makes all the difference to performance, yet he isn’t on the court. He has never ever reached this level, and he cannot match the on court performance of the player. What does the coach actually do to be so successful? He understands structure and form over and beyond content. What does this mean?

Coaching an Olympic athlete enables us to clearly see that the coach has an expertise not of the sport, but about the sport. What a Coach does occurs at a higher level. But it is about expertise, it is at a higher level than the performance. The successful coaches have an expertise that transcends the sport. His expertise does not arise from his own personal performance but in being able to facilitate the best performance possible by his pupil, on a continuing basis.


This requires the knowledge of the four areas of the sport that we have detailed in a previous article. Technical, Tactical, Physical, and Psychological (mental). Your Coach does not cover all of these areas with absolute thoroughness, and so 98% of you fail to achieve your full potential. For example, when were you taught the Psychological Requirements which make up 25% of your sport? It is never mentioned, but a top coach utilizes generative psychology to generate new potentials, new resources and new strengths.

Those 2% who have succeeded have been taught these skills by the coach, who does not have the ability to match them on the court. He does however have the knowledge, but knowledge is not the problem. The problem is teaching this knowledge so that it is translated into action. Knowledge alone has very little impact. So the structure and the form become a vital element in the coaching, as do many Tools that are used for Measurement and Evaluation. Combine this with the four areas of the sport that we have articulated, Tactical, Technical, Physical and Psychological, and the performance is greatly enhanced.


The structure is the way in which the Training Program is built, comprising all of the parts essential to enable it to stand up to the task. The form is the way the Program is shaped and moulded into the structure to ensure that it will stand up to the task. The four essential elements, Technical, Tactical, Physical and Psychological are formed into the structure. If in your Training Program you are only instructed in a part of these four essentials, then your structure is weak and the form is insufficient for the structure of the Training Program to be sufficiently strong and powerful enough for you to succeed. Hence the 98% failure rate to obtain your full potential.


To enable you to understand this clearly, a Quality Wheel of Training is included in this week's coaching section. Observe that the Wheel is applied at the beginning, during the program designed and the Philosophy established, and then the Wheel constantly turns, never ever stopping for a long period of time. This enables constant Measurement and Evaluation of Performance, and constant Change to the Program. It increases the levels of performance that have been Planned, Acted upon and Done. The Quality Wheel turns to the next phase of the Program, higher standards of performance must be achieved, and the improvement in all four areas increases.

Video meliora proboque deteriord sequor.

I see and approve the better course, but I follow the worst. Is this what you are doing? Check out the Quality Training Wheel, and see when your Coach last turned it around.







Psychological Profiling
of the four key areas






Video meliora proboque deteriord sequor.

 I see and approve the better course,
but I follow the worst.






Coming in week 7:





For Quality in a Training Program one must focus on the physical and psychological requirements of the Sport. However, one cannot even start the Program until they are clearly understood by both the coach and the athlete.

The focus on the Quality side of the training or practice must continue for the life of the Program and must be consistent throughout.

Measurement and Evaluation is the basis for continuous improvement and involves both the coach, the athlete and support team – these activities allow us to check our progress against our written goals.

The first phase of the Quality Wheel establishes the Concept, the second establishes the Philosophy of the Program and the third phase details the planning and execution or the “doing”.

The fourth phase involves verification that the Program is working successfully by “acting ” to fix any problems, i.e., “changing as required”.

However if the Quality component has been established at the beginning and is rigorously monitored, then the amount of fixing or change will be minimal.

The basis of a Quality Program is to focus on the process not the outcome, as the outcome or goal is all but assured through the constant Measurement and Evaluation of all four phases of the Program.

Therefore the FOUR KEYS TO SUCCESS are:

1. Knowing what is required
2. Taking the correct action
3. Measuring and evaluating the results
4. Checking and changing as required

Because it stands to reason that:

• If you can’t measure it -------------You can’t understand it
• If you can’t understand it ----------You can’t control it
• If you can’t control it ---------------You can’t improve it

This futuristic program is not just what lies ahead. It is something that you create and constantly change, then plan, do, act and check, again and again, until the program is completed.

The real secret to continuous improvement is that it is continuous – you never stop learning - there is a beginning – but the only end is retirement from the sport.