Most people who coach young people in sport are doing so for the love of the sport they are coaching, with the aim of engaging youngsters so that eventually they may want to play professionally. Volunteer coaches can encourage an initial interest in a sport, which must still be there by the time professional coaching is required. Here we look at the attributes that make a good sports coach and some of the things that are best avoided if you want to succeed.
According to Sports Coach UK, approximately six million children and young people receive sports coaching each week; however, the standard of coaching can vary between sports and between different parts of the country. There are certain things you should not do as a coach; likewise, some things are key to being a success.
Things to avoid in coaching
Good communication is key for any sports coach, whether with players or their parents, and a lack of positive communication is to be avoided. Parents need to be told what is expected of their child and why, while the players need positive feedback when play merits it and constructive criticism when play has perhaps not been as good as it should be. If you are a coach, you should be working for the team and not pursuing your own agenda, particularly if your child is part of the team you are coaching. Other things to avoid include excessive focus on strategy, time wasted during ‘team talks’, and shouting instructions during matches.
Becoming a successful sports coach
There are many things you can do to be a successful sports coach. Making it clear to your team that although winning is important, it is not everything, is a key lesson. Commitment as a coach is also vital, which includes commitment to your team, club and the sport generally. It does not matter whether you are practising field hockey drills such as those from https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey/ during a training session or playing competitive rugby, the commitment is the same. Coaching qualifications or taking steps towards these are also a good sign of commitment.
If you think you might have what it takes to coach children and young people in a sport you are passionate about, contact your nearest club and get involved.