Coaching

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A Sports Coach is someone whom is involved in the developing of athlete’s mental, physical and tactical skills, someone who provides instruction, direction, help and guidance at all times. To be a successful coach you must possess many important attributes, it’s not just about teaching, at all levels of sport from school level to international, a coach’s job is to motivate, empower, inspire and encourage their performers as well as provide a positive learning experience. (Becker, 2009). Coaching expertise and experience take a number of years to grow and a good coach’s reputation will spread through the skills they portray, a great coach is someone with an open mind and is a lifelong learner, they are always seeking new ways to push an athlete to reach their potential to improve both the athlete and also themselves. In this paper we are looking at the skills needed to be a successful coach from novice to elite level. To be a great coach enthusiasm and motivation are two of the key skills that are vital, if we look at a coach working with an elite athlete, coaching sessions are the coaches main focus and can be made fun, differential and a challenge, this can be done by using different games, different environments, and setting new challenges for the athlete. Many elite coaches have proven successful because of their ability to solve problems whilst making sports fun, they often have strong contact with family, schools and have developed other networks of support such as sports councils, other coaches etc whom will help them with any issues and help to choose the right direction to take for an athlete. (Pankhurst, 2009). A good coach will help the athlete to reach their own personal goals by making things exciting and creative every session rather than encouraging them to focus on winning, this takes pressure off the athlete allowing them to have a heightened enjoyment and achieve the best they can. A coach that is a great motivator will be able to help an athlete realise their own potential and a great motivator will not only be able to analyse all players’ strengths and weaknesses, through communication and observing skills, but they will also know how to work on them by motivating them. This can be demonstrated by how well the coach can interact with a student. A coach’s interpersonal skills such as their character and relationship with the athlete are the best form of motivation, an athlete can understand what is required of them so agreements and focussing and discussing areas to improve on together will be more helpful for athletes and they will have much more respect and trust for their coach. Excellent communication is vital for a good coach to succeed, whether there is a group of athletes or singular, the coach needs to be able to mould attitudes and mind sets of athletes to get them focussed and ready for important events. There are many ways a good coach can do this by verbal communication, getting a point across to athletes will enable the them to understand the training outcome, rules, guidance and encouragement, if a coach is training an elite group of athletes for a game and one player has not understood the coach, this could lead to the breakdown of team cohesion, and can affect the outcome of a single game and even a season. A good coach needs to be able to give honest and clear feedback but also needs to see it as a two way process and be open to receive feedback from his/her athletes, interpret this and make any changes themselves. (Frost, 2009). There is also non verbal communication, which can be head nodding, facial expression, and posture of the body. (Borgreffe, 2008) .Sometimes players can recognise their own coaches state of minds just by observing them, in many cases, gestures and mannerisms however small can be passed over to an athlete and help them to keep focussed. Promoting Team cohesion is another strong skill needed for any good coach. A great attitude and equality towards every player is...
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