How To: Be a Better Coach
Coaches are the leader of the pack. With a coach there is guidance, measurement, and improvement. Being a coach provides a limitless feeling of being an inspiration, a motivator, and a supporter of your players in any sport.
Just think of your favorite sports team. Anytime there is an issue, you turn to the coach. They are expected to make changes to the team, improve their players, bring better outcomes.
But being a coach does not come without its challenges and heavy responsibility. If you are considering or in the process of becoming a coach, we have broken down the major processes that you will need to anticipate and prepare for.
Know the game.
It is easy to understand the rules and best practices of a game, but a good coach goes beyond that. A good coach needs to know every little inner working of their sport. To help your players, you need to know exactly how and what to advise them on. Know the practices, the beliefs and values that you will need to instill within your group of athletes.
Understand exactly how much time you are ready to dedicate; how you will achieve practices and games. Set goals down, both short and long, on how you will help increase your players' performance.
If you need a hand keeping track of your players, check out these free game sheets that may help you save some time: Free Game Sheets
Be consistent. You have your plan – now stick to it.
Ensure that you have a steady and concrete conduct that you will relay to your team. A good coach needs to gain credibility by being reliable and supportive. No player will listen and follow your plan if you do not believe in it yourself. Ensure that it is known. Be stern – gain respect.
This will increase your athletes commitment to returning to each game and following your orders/advice to improve their performance.
The most crucial process of being a coach is managing your team and managing your position within the team. The coach – player relationship is dynamic and complex.
It is an educational relationship. A good coach accepts and realizes that their relationships with their players will go beyond just the playing field. Some of the most important life skills - such as punctuality, communication, and confidence – are all built on the sports field.
A coach needs to be supportive. Be open to your players' concerns without judgement (whatever it may be). A supportive coach will gain more respect.
A coach needs to be inclusive. Be open to any type of member that may want to join your team and focus on improving them.
A coach needs to build a community. Focus on encouraging friendships within your team; give your players a chance to get to know each other and create a healthier environment.
A coach is responsible for creating a safe environment for their players; where they can grow as individuals, and improve on their performances.
Providing healthy and effective feedback to your players requires an open form of communication. Although it is important to provide discipline to keep order, it is still useful to give your players that comfort that they may approach you.
A good coach also understands that – just like any other position in life – you are constantly learning and some of that learning may occur from your athletes.
Learn from your athletes, take new knowledge to revise your goals that were planned and keep improving. Not only will your athletes develop from it, so will you.
Coaches are a vital and important piece in any sports team. At Javelin Sports, we encourage good coaches and hope you can gain something new to take away. Be a coach yourself today and create your own team.
And tweet us at @appjavelin about your coaching experiences!
Lyle, John.Sports Coaching Concepts. Routledge, 2002.