Qualities of a great coach

by frank-stuart
7MAY

Trying to categorise the top qualities of a coach is no easy task – top coaches come from different backgrounds and have different styles. But they also know how to connect with players, inspire quality performance and get results. Here is a selection of a few of the key qualities that distinguish a good coach from a great coach.

Leadership

The goal of great coaching is to guide, inspire and empower an athlete or team to achieve their full potential. A great coach, thus, should also be an exceptional leader. A leader has the ability to unify a group of players and make them committed to a single purpose.

Knowledge

A great coach should have in-depth knowledge of the sport they are coaching. This does not necessarily have to come from personal experience, but a coach needs to have an understanding of the fundamental skills to advanced tactics and strategies involved in a game.

Motivation

Coaches need to be able to convey passion to their players, to inspire them to get the most out of their performance. A successful coach will possess a positive attitude and enthusiasm for the game and the players that in turn inspires athletes to excel. Motivation might also involve keeping the practice session engaging and challenging.

Knows the Athlete

A key to successful coaching is being aware of the individual differences in your athletes. There are some coaching tactics that work better on different personality types so it is important to tailor communication and motivation based on specific players’ personalities. To achieve this, a coach needs to pay attention to the player’s emotions, strengths and weaknesses. Knowing the athlete also involves having empathy for the athlete. Coaches need to care deeply about their athletes and a coach needs to be willing to be a mentor and counsellor, as well as a coach.

Consistency

If a coach wants to change a player’s attitude, alter a game plan or improve an athlete’s skills, a coach needs to be consistent in the message they are trying to deliver. Athletes will learn by hearing the same message constantly and consistently.

Effective communication skills

Needless to say, a great coach will possess exceptional communication skills. An effective coach is able to set defined goals, express these goals and ideas clearly to players, give direct feedback, reinforce key messages and acknowledge success. Listening is also a part of effective communication, so a coach should be a compassionate listener who welcomes player comment, questions and feedback.

To find out more about becoming a sports coach check out the ACPE website.

 

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