Learn to be a Sporting Coach
Being a sports coach will mean working not only with athletes or teams, but with other specialist individuals involved such as psychologists, manager, trainers and so on. It is important therefore that a sports coach has both some understanding of these areas and the roles that such individuals perform, as well as being able to integrate their services within a supporting “team”.
Beyond any athlete or a team of athletes, there is a coaching and support network which looks after them. To be successful in their roles and to ensure the successful development of the athlete or team, the supporting individuals need to be able to complement and dovetail into each other’s services in order to provide solid support.
This course helps you to understand what it is to be a sports coach and how to better approach and undertake the many and varied tasks that a sports coach must undertake.
There are 11 lessons in this course:
Introduction to Sports Coaching
Professional Standards and Communication in Sports Coaching
The Coach-Athlete Relationship
Training Roles of the Coach and Athlete
The Athletic Identity
Children and Parents in Sports
Amateur Vs Elite Vs Professional Sports Coaching
Maintaining Your Motivation as a Coach
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
The job of a sports coach is to encourage participation in sports and to help improve the performance of individual athletes and teams. They may work with children and the disabled, as well as professional and amateur athletes. Some coaches work part-time or as volunteers, some are self-employed, whereas others are fulltime employees of sports clubs. Coaches not only have relationships with the athletes themselves, but often other family members, administrators of sports teams or clubs, other related professionals like sports psychologists, nutritionists and doctors, and in some cases fans and fan clubs.
Sports coaching can therefore be a very demanding position which takes a lot of effort on the part of the coach to help their clients succeed and remain focused, whilst also dealing with the needs and requests of others.
Whereas in its formative years sports coaching was very much focused on success and failure of athletes or teams, as a profession it has evolved to give more emphasis to relationships with athletes and their development. So, coaching is concerned with more than performance. Development extends to development of athletes as all-round people and of teams as groups with a common purpose.
Sports coaches have to be knowledgeable about their area of coaching but they don’t necessarily have to have excelled in their preferred sport to make an excellent coach. In fact, most coaches probably did not reach the top of their field as an athlete, and only very few of those that did go on to make successful coaches.
Coaches develop training programs with athletes. They have to be able to help athletes develop new skills and to monitor and evaluate their progress. They also make projections about performance and set goals. To get athletes on board, a coach has to nurture a positive learning environment. This means finding effective ways to help athletes absorb information as well as creating activities which generate improvements in results. A range of techniques can be used to achieve this.
Coaches, like many other professionals, offer a service which is designed to benefit a client. The onus is on the coach to continually strive to improve their skills and techniques in order to offer as good a service as they can to their clients.
Coaches are professionals and need to be aware of, and work to maintain, certain standards in consideration of those they are responsible to, such as:
- The athletes they are coaching.
- The company, leisure centre, or school they are working for.
- Staff or colleagues at their place of employment or the venue they are working for.
- The sport(s) they represent.