Good Coaching Goes Beyond Play Calling

  • For coaches, particularly at the high school level, a well thought out philosophy is pertinent to their program.

    Communication and motivation are essential aspects of the job because what coaches are really supposed to be doing is preparing young athletes for successful lives beyond the playing field or the swimming pool.

    The best coaches build great athletes, but also great scholars and good citizens. Like inspirational teachers, they are not forgotten.

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    Keys to coaching

    Positive coaching influences have been the basis for many movies. “Hoosiers”, “Miracle” and “We are Marshall” are a few that come to mind.

    And almost all good coaching stories involve getting players to believe in themselves despite the odds. “Miracle”, the story of the 1980 United States gold medal Olympic hockey team is a great example of teaching young people to believe in themselves and each other to achieve a goal.

    Those who teach athletic motivation are quick to say athletes must be taught to develop personal goals. These goals have carryover value from competition into developing a mentally and physically healthy adult life style.

    So it is imperative that coaches instill into the athletic program the importance of positive communication (both verbal and nonverbal) in team competition as well as in all aspects of life.

    Athletic coaches need to develop a philosophy of coaching that will help his or her athlete.

    Coaching standards that stand out

    Coaching standards that can serve as the basis for success involve the following:

    • Promoting self-directed, reflective learning for all students.
    • Drawing on and valuing students’ backgrounds, interests and developmental learning needs.
    • Engaging students in problem solving, critical thinking and other activities that make subject matter meaningful.
    • Promoting social development and group responsibility
    • Establishing and articulating goals for student learning and leadership

    Be a life Coach

    Being an athletic coach also means being a life coach. The definition: “a person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with careers or personal challenges.”

    Coaching in all its forms – the workplace or the playing field — is a form of development in which a person called a coach supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal. The good coaches do this by providing training and guidance.

    Few grow through more personal challenges than a teenager. And that is why being an inspirational teacher or athletic coach is so influential. You are teaching kids to be winners or graceful losers. You are instilling pride and camaraderie that will last a lifetime.

    Winning the coaching game

    Almost all coaches would be lying if they said winning was not important. And they would be right. But winning doesn’t just mean the game, although that is important.

    By winning on the field, students learn what is required in terms of the dedication, perseverance, teamwork and general hard work that goes into winning at life.

    Good coaches work with kids to help them achieve goals, overcome obstacles and make changes or shifts in their lives. The coach works as a partner, knowing that the athlete has the answers to create the changes they seek.

    A coach is almost like a sculptor who can look and see the potential for achievement.

    Do you want to be a great coach?