Coach’s Corner: How To Be A Top Coach!

To learn the skills that will help them develop in their chosen
sport, young players need to get off to a good start with the
right coaching from the outset. It lays the foundation for the
Coaches need to coach the groundwork effectively and
safely. A good coach must be many things, namely: Teacher,
Trainer, Motivator, Organizer, Adviser and Friend!
But above all, he must be positive and encouraging at all
Three very important things coaches should remember are:
(a) Sound understanding of his sport is essential;
(b) Sound understanding of coaching techniques;
(c) Very important to be able to communicate with your
It is what the PLAYER knows rather than what the coach
knows that will make the difference. To be a TOP coach, it is
imperative that we can: Teach; Organize and Plan!
We should aim to teach effectively and make the process as
simple as possible. Good communication skills and an understanding
of the learning process help considerably.
1. Teaching requires:
(a) Explanations, (b) Demonstrations, (c) Practice activities,
(d) Providing feedback
and (e) Extending exercises.
Coaching Teachers must also understand that there are
three phases of learning:
BEGINNER – Develop plan or model of what to do.
INTERMEDIATE – Link various elements of skill together, developing
a rhythm or fluency to timing.
ADVANCED – Co-ordinates all aspects of skill automatically
2. Organization entails:
(a) Effective time management (b) Having a training routine
(c) Getting the attention of the players (d) Dividing into
groups and grids and (e) Getting started
It is very important to remember that players come to have
FUN and get maximum out of any participation. BE ORGANISED.
3. Plan – This is all about What and How??
Planning involves: (a) Assessing abilities of the player
(b) Selecting required skills to be taught (c) Planning demonstrations
and activities.
The above aspects are essential when developing a coaching
plan, while COMMUNICATION ABILITY is absolutely vital for effective
coaching. Communication is a 2-way process (between
coach/player). Methods and styles will vary from coach to
coach and from player to player, but the most effective technique
will be on a one-to-one basis.
Communication can either be:
VERBAL (requiring use of the voice) or NON VERBAL involving
hand gestures, facial expressions and/or body language,
The danger of non-verbal communication is that a player can
misinterpret the coach’s signals or get confused with unclear
signals. Never contradict what you are trying to say.
Whatever form is used, always try to achieve the following: a)
Show interest and concern for player/s, b) Seek their opinions,
c) Be a good listener, d) Don’t interrupt, e) Ask questions f) Avoid
emotional exchanges and again g) Concentrate on listening!
Communication requires a positive approach. Talk with and not
at your players, and ensure that all comments (praise or criticism)

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