A Coach is somebody who develops, improves or promotes changes in a persons ability and understanding. Coaches work with another person or a group of people and develops them as people using sport to progress them in their development. All coaches have certain responsibilities towards performers, their sport, their profession and themselves. Below I have identified what a coach may be required to fulfil. Coaches need to be confident in a wide range of skills in order to be a good coach.
Three skills that are common to successful coaches include communication skills, organisation skills and sport-specific skills. Coaches need to have a a range of good communication skills as they should communicate in different ways to suit people’s needs. It is important that coaches have these skills so there able to motivate performers and provide them with information in a way that students understand it so they can train in order to improve their performance and also listen and understand what performers have to say as communication works both ways.
An example of this could be the coach questioning performers and listening to their opinions. Coaches must be able to use all aspects of communication for example they could communicate verbally by speaking but it is important that the tone is varied to suit what needs to be said as constant shouting could make performers uncomfortable and also becomes less effective. Another example is non verbal communication this could involve sending signals by body language and facial expressions.
A coach with good communication skills is Sven Yuran Ericsson as his mother tongue is French but he has learnt English in order to communicate verbally with the team he is coaching. Coaches need to have good organisation skills as effective coaching sessions have to be organised for this to happen a range of skills is required this could include organisation, analysing and problem solving skills, evaluation, time management and health and safety skills. Analysing and problem solving skills means having the ability to judge peoples performance against other performers or a desired performance, for example an expert.
Problem solving involves identifying when things have gone badly, when problems occur and being able to recognise what the source of the problem is. An example of time management is using time effectively in order to maximise the students opportunities for learning and managing the time efficiently. Coaches should use evaluation to reflect on how well and how bad sessions went so it is important that the coach is honest so they can improve and learn from this.
Coaches should have sport specific skills as they need to understand certain technical aspects of the sport they are trying to teach. A coach needs to ensure that they have a good knowledge and understanding of their own sport and how the latest information in sport science can aid to develop performers, this is important so coaches can deliver demonstrations correctly and carry out good practice as if they were to demonstrate something wrongly then students could pick up bad habits by simply imitating and doing as their instructed.
However if a coach is less knowledgeable in a particular area of sport they could use their transferable skills . A football coach should be a role model as a team needs guiding and someone to follow. A football coach has a responsibility towards the football team to deliver effective coaching sessions that help the performance of the performer both as an individual and as a team. They must also demonstrate professional behaviour and conduct and follow legal responsibilities.
A coach is a role model as a coach can be a very influential person, performers need guiding. A coach who behaves in a way that earns and maintains trust and respect can become a positive role model. A coach should maintain a healthy lifestyle as a coach is a role model people look up to and coaches have a huge influence on them. Coaches will inspire them by having a positive attitude. If a coach is a bad role model students may lose trust and think that the coach doesn’t know what they are on about.
The coach will also need to responsible as a role model this involves having loco-parentis by being a responsible parent and having a duty of care towards the students this means that they must ensure that a persons experiences of sport are positive, long lasting and safe for example a coach should maintain a safe environment for the performers. Coaches need to insure that the influence they have upon the performer is a positive one as they will observe the coaches behaviour and try to copy them, especially young children.
Coaches should always carry out good practice as if they were to teach bad practice the student would get very confused and find the task harder in the long run. A football coach should be a role model as a team needs guiding and someone to follow. The coach has a responsibility to guide students and be very influential, once again it is important that this is done in a positive way. The coach can be an educator as they can teach people how to do things by using a variety of teaching methods and styles in order for students to learn new skills and techniques.
In order for a coach to be able to teach they need underpinning knowledge and a good understanding of what it is they are teaching. Coaches should adapt their teaching to peoples learning styles for example V. A. K. (VISUAL, Auditory, Kinaesthetic) as people all learn in different ways as some people learn visually by seeing things for example in colour by mind maps etc. , some people learn auditory by hearing things for example listening to someone talking or listening to music whilst they study and some people learn kinaesthetically by doing things for example by touching things, walking whilst reading etc.
It is important that the coach uses the appropriate teaching methods to teach the students for their stage, ability and experience for example a coach working with a student that has never kayaked before and is a complete beginner should use different teaching methods than he would use with a student that has a four star kayaking qualification. This should also apply with the age of the student who is being taught by the coach, for example if a coach was teaching an adult they would use different techniques in a lesson compared to teaching younger people.
A kayaking coach should be an innovator as they should always be thinking of new ways to make sessions fun and interesting. A kayaking coach has a responsibility of health and safety by maintaining a safe environment for performers, selecting activities that are safe and technically correct, ensuring equipment used is safe, and that the safety of the performer is addressed. A kayaking coach has a much larger responsibility of health and safety compared to a football coach as there is a higher risk factor.
For a coach to be an innovator they should maintain the students interest in the sport by devising new ideas and practices that encourage continued development to progress students, for example finding different ways to do things so that lessons don’t become boring. Coaches could also help the students progress in their development for the sport for example they could suggest match tactics and training methods to help the students make improvements in their performance and solve any problems that have become an issue.
A way that a coach devises new ideas and practices is by using reflection to think about how well/bad something went for example a lesson and always thinking of ways to improve this is important not only for the coach to reflect on sessions but for students to reflect upon their own performance so it is important that students receive feedback from their coach. The coach can be a trainer by devising and running training programmes which will help to develop the technical, physical and psychological abilities of performers. This helps to progress the students development both mentally and physically.
Coaches must insure that performers are able to meet the demands required by the sport for example they must be able to meet the technical demands like new skills and also the physical and psychological demands of the sport as virtually all sports place a physical demand upon performers which they can improve on by developing their fitness levels, in order for students to do this coaches should devise a training programme that help performers maintain good health and helps them develop fitness training routines to improve their fitness levels. he training programmes should also include progressions in technical development, routines and practises which will help the student develop their psychological skills that are needed for their specific sport.