Oct 21, 2022 • 4 min read
There is no one shoe that fits all when it comes to coaching. There isn’t a single recipe for coaching an athlete, and truly what works for one player may not for the other. That’s why there isn’t necessarily a rule book for coaching and many coaches establish their own voice and style throughout their career. Even though the way one coaches is unique, there are some traits that are common and essential among coaches. If you are trying to decide if coaching is the right career for you, here are 6 traits a good coach has.
A love for a game can be contagious through a coach. When a coach loves the sport they are teaching and mentoring, players see and learn through their doing and expression. A passionate coach makes players see the sport beyond just the technical drills and fitness. Many coaches who love the sport that they are teaching pour their heart into their career and have a certain level of commitment that is around-the-clock.
Coaching is typically specific to a sport and to be good at teaching the sport the coach must understand it beyond the surface level rules. Many coaches were previously players and this level of knowledge helps in the teaching and understanding the athletes’ needs. To be able to teach well, a coach must be able to comprehend and also show the progression and developmental goals. Understanding the sport goes beyond just the rules and age-appropriate drills, but a grasp on the landscape of the sport and pathway for players.
As a coach it’s important to not just teach to your players the importance of development, but seek it for yourself. Many of the best coaches consider themselves life long learners and take any opportunity to continue their education when they can. Coaches that are eager to get better and take every team and season as a learning moment to improve their craft are likely to be on the right path.
Coaching is all about communication. A day as a coach is filled with using the right tone, body language, projecting and more. A good coach must be able to communicate to larger groups, but also individual athletes. There’s a certain level of performance involved in coaching; and that sometimes takes a bit of getting used to for young coaches. One trait all effective coaches have is how they command a group and connect to individuals.
As a coach you could be one or several young athletes’ role model. With that in mind, they are watching your every move. A good coach knows that the athletes, families, and local communities are watching and takes that in stride. Many youth athletes stick with a sport because of the coach and being that figure who can impact a youth athlete in a positive way is part of the power of sport. A coach that demands respect from the athletes must also show the athletes respect. An effective coach may teach through their actions and not always say it.
Coaching takes a lot of dedication. A good coach has to be reliable, especially because young athletes are involved. Coaches that are responsible and show up set a precedent for the rest of the group. When a coach is timely, organized and committed, it because apparent to the players how they should be acting. Also, being someone that the players and families can count on and trust is part of the foundation of the team.
So, what do you think? Are you going to carve out a career in coaching?
From seasoned professionals to first-time volunteers, our coaches make the world go ‘round. As a thank you for all you do, we’ve partnered up with Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) to give you free access to their Double-Goal Coach® online course ($30 value) for two weeks! Give your coach recognition on the national level by nominating them as a Double-Goal Coach®. Coined by the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), a Double-Goal Coach is someone who strives to win while also pursuing the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports.