Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Appropriate Coaching

Coaching is a vital aspect of being a successful coach. In this article, we will explore the importance of appropriate coaching methods and how they can positively impact both the coach and the athletes. We will also delve into the role of a coach as a teacher and the significance of creating a positive and effective learning environment.

The Evolution of Coaching

The term “coach” originally referred to individuals who transported VIPs from one place to another. Over time, the concept expanded to include educators who guided students towards higher levels of knowledge. This evolution highlights the fundamental principle of coaching – moving individuals from one stage to another. As the renowned coach John Wooden once said, “You haven’t coached them if they haven’t learned.”

Shifting the Focus

In many games, we often witness teams being outplayed by opponents who possess superior speed, reading ability, and flawless execution. In such cases, what should a coach, who finds themselves on the losing end, do during timeouts or breaks in the game? Unfortunately, some resort to berating their players with derogatory terms such as lazy, stupid, careless, or sloppy. This negative approach rarely leads to positive outcomes.

Embracing the Role of a Teacher

To become a truly effective coach, one must prioritize teaching above all else. While young athletes may be acquainted with the fundamentals of running, they often lack the game-specific skills required to perform at their best. They may be able to execute techniques in isolated settings, but struggle to connect with teammates during gameplay. The role of a coach is to bridge this gap and facilitate the development of these critical skills.

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Coaching with Positivity and Encouragement

Instead of resorting to frustration and negativity, coaches should emulate the techniques employed by excellent teachers. Remember the positive impact your past teachers had on you. They made learning enjoyable, used creative teaching methods, and genuinely cared about your progress. They were patient, dedicated, and always nurtured a love for learning. Coaches must adopt the same mindset and offer constructive guidance to their athletes.

Motivating Through Support and Encouragement

Motivation is a key ingredient in successful coaching. Think back to the first time you received a gold star for a job well done. That moment of recognition from a caring teacher left a lasting impression. Effective coaches should strive to create a similar atmosphere that celebrates achievements and provides individual attention when necessary. By doing so, they inspire and motivate their athletes to reach new heights.

Redefining the Role of a Coach

Many coaches mistakenly believe that their primary responsibility is to make athletes physically fit by incorporating extensive running sessions into training. The truth is, these young athletes already know how to run. What they truly need is the opportunity to learn and improve their game-specific skills. Coaches should focus on providing ample opportunities for players to interact with the ball during practice sessions, enabling them to develop a deeper understanding of the sport.

Learning Through Action

The best way to learn is through hands-on experience. While it’s tempting to sideline certain players during matches, it’s important to remember that true growth occurs through active participation. Watching from the sidelines provides limited learning opportunities compared to actively engaging in the game. Coaches must prioritize creating an environment that allows athletes to learn by doing.

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Embracing the Role of a Coach

Coaching is not limited to teaching sports skills. It extends beyond the realm of the game, molding the athletes into exceptional individuals both on and off the field. Every coach has the power to make a lasting difference in the lives of their players. By embracing the role of a coach and adopting effective teaching techniques, you can shape the future leaders of tomorrow.


What should a coach prioritize above all else?

As a coach, your primary focus should always be on teaching. By prioritizing teaching and creating a positive learning environment, you can have a lasting impact on your athletes.

How can coaches motivate their athletes?

Coaches can motivate their athletes by offering support, encouragement, and personalized attention. Celebrate achievements, guide players through challenges, and foster a love for learning and self-improvement.


Coaching goes beyond merely training athletes physically; it involves teaching and guiding them to achieve their full potential. Effective coaches embrace their role as teachers, providing positive and constructive guidance. By prioritizing teaching, motivating through support, and creating an environment that encourages learning, coaches can empower their athletes to excel both on and off the field.

Remember, coaching is not just about the game; it’s about shaping individuals and instilling lifelong skills. So, step into the role of a coach with passion, dedication, and a commitment to making a positive impact.