Friday, October 21, 2011

What Makes a Good Coach?

Being a Physical Education teacher, you will most likely be given a chance to coach a sports team at the school that you are teaching at. But what makes a good coach? Everyone has probably had good and bad coaches during their sports career. Coaching is a lot like teaching in that fact that you are helping your players refine their skills in whatever sport you are coaching so that they can become better players and compete at higher levels of competition. However, in coaching, there is a much higher emphasis on competition and winning, especially as the level of competition increases, such as competition in middle school compared to competition in high school sports. This is one of the main differences between coaching and teaching.

Coaches have many of the qualities that teachers have due to the similarity of the jobs. To me, a good coach is someone who is knowledgeable about the sport that they are coaching and they are able to relate to their players so that they can effectively teach their players the necessary skills to be successful. Coaches need to be able to communicate efficiently to their players as well as the other coaches due to the fact that they may need to make split second decisions during a game.

Along with knowing strategy and how to perform and teach skills to their players, some of the most important qualities that a coach must have are in the affective category. Coaches need to be able to know their players and have empathy for them. This is crucial for being able to relate to their players. A coach also needs to be caring and trustworthy. Players need to know that a coach has their best interest at heart and that in time when they need him, the players can count on the coach.

As a coach, you spend 2 or more hours a day with your players and you get to know them well. Knowing your players will help you make decisions and it will also help you when it comes to trying to improve team chemistry. Many sports teams have team bonding days where players get to know each other and build trust among players. A goal that a coach must have is to take their team and turn it into a little "family". This comes with spending time with the players and getting all your players to trust and confide in one another. Many times this is easier said than done, which is why a coach needs to have the skills to be able to bring the players together and to get them to work together in order to be successful. Throughout my life I have witnessed many teams that have an amazing amount of individual talent, however, they are not as successful as they could be because their team chemistry is very low. I believe that team chemistry is an aspect of the team that separate the good teams from the great teams. I have coached a few teams and I plan on continuing to coach in the future and this is one thing that I am really going to focus on with all of my future teams.

I know that there are good coaches that possess more qualities than this; these mentioned were just a few. I was lucky enough to have many good coaches when I played sports all throughout my life. Having good past coaches is one reason why I would like to coach. They have had such an impact on my life, I would love to be able to do the same to my future players.

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