Thursday, March 8, 2012

Coaching for Excellence

Why are some coaches deemed more successful than others?  What sets them apart?

There has been much research concentrated around the concept of identifying ideal characteristics of coaches. A recent article boils some of these concepts down and outlines why coaches succeed while others fail and highlights the following habits of effective coaches:
  • Make training more challenging and more demanding than the competition your athletes are targeting
  • Learn and develop as a coach at a faster rate than your athletes
  • Accelerate your rate of learning faster than your opposition
  • Enhance your creative thinking skills
  • Coach individuals - even in team sports
  • Ensure that every athlete you work with out-prepares (in every aspect) their opposition
  • Adapt your training plans and programs to optimize their impact on each athlete at every training session
  • Performance practice - not practice makes perfect
  • Adopt an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to talent development and performance enhancement
  • Lead - The great coaches are leaders
So knowing which habits a coach should strive towards is most of the battle. But what are the things that should be avoided as a coach. There are reasons identified that coaches can fail:
  • Compromise. Do not compromise on preparation
  • Lacking belief in themselves
  • Copying others. Be original, be creative. Adapt and improve upon others.
  • Relying too much on learning from only within their own sport
  • Relying too much on emotion
  • Using the same programs over and over and over
  • Failing to engage their athletes
  • Lack of persistence
  • Lack of vision
  • Not spending enough time maximizing their strengths
A great coach doesn't hesitate to learn. Identifying where you are excelling and where you might make some changes or improvements to your coaching style can only benefit your coaching and your athletes.

Reference from the SIRC Collection:
(2012). A Pair of 10s: Two articles examining why coaches fail and what some do to succeed. Soccer Journal, 57(1), 44;46.

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