Exploring sport coaching and psychology
Exploring sport coaching and psychology

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

2 Richard Bailey’s ‘coaching commandments’

Richard Bailey is an academic focusing on learning and education in sport and has developed five coaching commandments, which he describes as the appliance of science in teaching and learning. By science he means:

thinking coaching through, and using a genuine critical attitude about what we do, there has to be evidence, there has to be science and reasons for doing things; coaching is dominated by tradition, sometimes this is harmless but sometimes it does harm and holds athletes and coaches back.

(Bailey, 2015)

Activity 2 Richard Bailey’s first two coaching commandments

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Watch the following video in which Richard Bailey describes his five coaching commandments.

Download this video clip.Video player: Richard Bailey’s five coaching commandments
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Richard Bailey’s five coaching commandments
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Identify the main point of the first two of his commandments:

  1. You learn to play the game by playing the game.
  2. It’s quality, not quantity, of practice that matters most.


The main point in his first commandment is that practices are most effective if designed to resemble the competitive environment as closely as possible. This makes it more likely that the skills and understanding will be developed to properly prepare athletes for their activity. In his second commandment, he focuses on attempts to stimulate full mind and body concentration in practices, rather than concentrating on ‘mindless repetitive drills’. You will explore examples of these principles in the sections that follow.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371