I shared a picture on Instagram a few days ago highlighting 10 key things to be a great coach. It really resonated with me and made me think about my own coaching. None of what was said is rocket science but just good practice, that any coach can carry out regardless of how knowledgable you are as a coach, and appropriate whether you are coaching kids or olympic medallists.
I am going to pick out a few that were highlighted and then add in some more of my own and discuss a little further.
- Be the best part of their day– This is so simple yet so effective. If you can make your sessions as engaging as possible in order to make it the best part of their day and that they are excited to turn up and train then you can’t do more than that.
- Be patient, be positive, be passionate- Coaching is sometimes referred to as acting, putting on a show to get the most out of your athletes. It is a stage in order to perform. I definitely believe that if you show passion and energy you will get more out of your athletes.
- No cell phones– This is a big bug bear of mine and something I have seen too much of. It creates unnecessary distraction and athletes pick up on it, trust me! If you are using your phone for filming then switch it to airplane mode so you can’t receive any messages/alerts when doing so.
- Care about your athletes- Ask about their day– Get to know them, ask questions and over time you will get more out of your athletes that way. Don’t be a robot.
My added thoughts-
- Be the first to arrive, last to leave- This can show a lot to an athlete- organisation, commitment, passion and not just clock watching.
- Watch other coaches, but don’t always copy them- Learn and observe but find your own coaching style that works for you, don’t force something that is not quite you. In my opinion that way you will be the best version of you.
- Believe in what you are doing– Sounds simple, but if you don’t believe in what you are prescribing your athletes, they won’t buy in and will be a waste of time.
- Be open to challenge from athletes– This creates a healthy relationship and not a dictatorial coach-athlete relationship. This can create really good honest conversation and always be open to different ideas from time to time.