Coaches are the backbone of a team. They know the game inside out, but they also know how to connect with their players to inspire them and get results. Below are some of the qualities we think make a great coach.
Is a motivator:
Coaches with a positive attitude and enthusiasm for the game and their players in turn inspire players to excel in their sport. Coaches that can convey passion and get their athletes to believe in themselves are a step ahead of the rest. If an athlete believes in themselves and feels inspired, they will be more likely to succeed. Motivation may also involve keeping training sessions fun and interesting while also being challenging.
Knows their athletes:
Everyone is different, and this is no exception when it comes to a team. A coach needs to pay attention to their players’ emotions, strengths and weaknesses. Being aware of differences in team members allows a coach to communicate and motivate each player individually. Knowing their athletes also involves having empathy for the athletes. On occasion, coaches will need to act as a counsellor and mentor, as well as coach so must be willing to do so.
A great coach has exceptional communication skills. An effective coach is one that sets well-defined goals and is able express these goals and ideas clearly to players, whilst also providing feedback, reinforcing key messages and acknowledging success. An essential part of communicating effectively is being a good listener too. A coach should be compassionate and welcome comments, feedback and questions from players.
The most important characteristic of a coach is outstanding knowledge of the sport you coach. This knowledge includes an in-depth understanding of the skills, tactics and strategies needed to win games and be successful. It’s important to note that most sports evolve over time so it is the coach’s responsibility to learn new information as the competition, training techniques and rules change.
Leads by example:
Players look to their coaches for inspiration and guidance, so it is essential for coaches to lead by example. Coaches expect their players to have a positive attitude, display good sportsmanship and treat others with respect. To ensure these behaviours are actioned, it’s important that they practice what they preach. Coaches who show up on time, stay focused throughout practice, remain positive and treat their athletes with respect are more likely to receive the same treatment in return.
The goal of a great coach is to inspire and empower athletes to reach their full potential. If you’re looking to become a coach or transform from a good coach to a great coach, the qualities discussed above should be high on your radar.