Whether you’re a former player or just know the sport really well, you’ve no doubt realised there is more to coaching than the tactical and technical aspects.
Coaching is about people. Below are 11 tips that might improve your coaching.
Please feel free to add any others that would benefit a coach’s athletes.
1) Be the example. This includes being on time, ready, fit, healthy, appropriately dress, well-mannered, organised, etc.
2) Coach the person, not the performance. Remember, athletes are people first.
3) Coach to be redundant. Unfortunately, there are too many coaches who do the opposite in the hope that they can ride on the coat tails of the athlete’s success.
4) Get to know your athletes as people. Spend time with them, chat with them out of training times, about other topics (not training!). You may be surprised at the results when they see how much you care about them.
5) Repeat Daily: ‘Coaching is not about me’. Very few people care how much you know about the sport you’re involved with. And even fewer enjoy hearing your voice when they could be playing and moving and learning and competing.
6) State less. Question more. Watch engagement shoot through the roof when you change from a ‘stating’ paradigm to a ‘questioning’ paradigm.
8) Allow time for Questions. Information sharing should be a two-way street. Also, don’t be a ‘question-answerer’, this defeats the whole purpose!
9) Maximise ‘Time on Task’. The more your athletes ‘do’ the more they will remember. You ‘telling’ them is probably the least effective way they could learn.
10) Read more. I aim to spend an equal amount of time reading journals (high science, low practicality), blogs (high practicality, low science) and books (somewhere in between). Too much of any from one domain isn’t beneficial in the long run.
11) Learn from other sports. Each sport has aspects it traditionally does well and aspects that could be improved. Try this: if you’re involved in very physical, team orientated sport spend a day with someone from a skill-dominant, individual sport. You’ll be grateful you did.