Coaching sports can be a rewarding and exhilarating experience – though success and enjoyment often needs patience and organisation. Coaches are required across the full spectrum of sports. An understanding of the sport is a necessity; however this understanding is only one part of being a successful coach – the interaction with the team or players being coached can make huge differences in enjoyment, performance and results.
Coaching requires commitment, communication and patience. A coach needs to be dedicated to their role – spending significant amounts of time ensuring that training sessions are correctly organised, and that the sessions are planned in a manner that gets the most out of the allotted time – time which is often at a premium. A coach will also be required to organise events and all of the logistics attached to them – including transport, facilities and officials.
Throughout the various tasks the coach performs in their role, good communication is a fundamental requirement. The players being coached need to understand what is expected of them, and how they need to act in order to carry out those instructions. During an event, the coach needs to be able to communicate instructions clearly and concisely – confusion will lead to mistakes, and sub-par performance. Most importantly, the coach needs to be able to motivate – this may be quiet words of encouragement, or possibly louder, more pointed comments – a good coach can read a situation and take decisions on how best to improve the mindset of the players they are addressing. Alongside this, a coach needs to display patience – particularly if players are not performing or learning as quickly as desired. A good coach will take time to understand the issue and decide on appropriate action – impatience and harsh words can lead to resentment and de motivation in a player or team.
As a reward for this hard work, a successful coach will share the enjoyment of victories, development of team spirit and the wholehearted effort being put into events. Longer term, a coach will be able to watch players and teams grow – improving their skills, abilities and performances as they practice and execute the instructions offered to them by a coach. This improvement is the underlying aim for each and every coach – and is the primary way a coach can have a positive impact on those around them.