The Coaching Workshop

Evidence-based coaching skills for rehabilitation professionals

The Coaching Workshop

What is the difference between an instruction and a cue?

How beneficial is it to provide demonstration before practice?

The Coaching Workshop

What is the difference between internal and external focus instructions?

What type of feedback is beneficial for learning?

The Coaching Workshop

How much feedback is beneficial for learning?

What can therapists do to motivate people to do more practice?


This workshop focuses on developing coaching skills for use in rehabilitation settings with patients/clients. Being able to teach effectively is an essential skill for professionals working in rehabilitation and other areas of health. This workshop will enable professionals to reflect on and improve their coaching skills and practise strategies to optimise rehabilitation outcomes.

Skills that may be used as examples include standing up, walking, reaching, manipulating objects such as cutlery, writing, eating, getting out of bed and dressing. Videotaped examples will be used for analysis. Content can be applied to other skills that health professionals may need to teach (eg skills taught in acute medical/surgical wards, home and residential settings). Content will be applicable to health professionals who teach students, novice practitioners, family members and attendant carers.

During the workshop, research will be presented and practical examples of strategies to optimise a learner’s attention using demonstration, effective instruction and cues including goal-oriented instructions, different types and timing of feedback, how to motivate learners with cognitive impairments and/or who dislike practice/exercise, and the role of measurement.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the workshop, learners will be able to:


between instructions, cues, goals and feedback


goal-oriented instructions to encourage and motivate learners


critical and timely verbal feedback


people who have difficulty concentrating or dislike exercise


the environment and coaching strategies to enable high repetitions

Provide and receive

peer review about coaching skills

Reflect on and improve

their individual coaching skills


Dr Annie McCluskey
Dr Annie McCluskey
Occupational therapist, health services researcher and educator. She has 30+ years experience in stroke and brain injury rehabilitation.

Karl Schurr
Karl Schurr
Clinical experience in stroke and brain injury rehabilitation for 30 years+ in Australia and the UK.

Dr Simone Dorsch
Dr Simone Dorsch
Simone has worked in neurological physiotherapy for 20 years, in traumatic brain injury and stroke rehabilitation. She has a Masters of Health Science…

Dr Kate Scrivener
Dr Kate Scrivener
Lecturer in neurological physiotherapy at Macquarie University. Kate works clinically as a rehabilitation physiotherapist at Bankstown-Lidcombe…

Workshop Timetable

Time Subject
8.30 Overview of the day/lecture notes; introductions
8.45 Coaching basics (lecture): Stages of motor learning, using demonstration, verbal instructions and cues
9.30 Practical: Teach a motor skill, watch videotape, small groups
10.10 Practical: Analyse videotaped therapy session, small groups
10.30 Morning Tea
11.00 Practical: Line drawing exercise with feedback, 5 groups
11.30 Giving feedback (lecture): Types, internal/external focus, timing and quantity of feedback, concurrent v delayed/terminal feedback, knowledge of performance (KP) and results (KR)
12.30 Lunch
1.15 Motivating learners (lecture): What motivates learners, experiences of learners; internal/external motivation; self-efficacy; mastery; self-management, role of measurement and charting progress and rewards;
1.45 Practical: Analyse videotaped therapy session, small groups
2.15 Other factors to consider when coaching (lecture): Strategies to make learning easier for people with cognitive impairments including environmental changes to reduce instructions and talking, errorless learning and backward chaining
2.45 Break
3.00 Practical: Teaching a motor skill
3.30 Practical: Planning a structured coaching session
4.00 Q&A time and ‘where to from here’? Review of skills learned, peer review, community of practice
4.30 Evaluation and finish