Becoming a successful sports coach is a difficult task. It takes dedication, patience, and the right set of skills to be able to lead others in their pursuit of excellence. But it can be done.
Be An Expert
Know your sport and understand what makes it unique. Become an expert in the sport you are coaching. Know the in’s and out’s and stay on top of all the latest trends and gameplay. Know what types of injuries are most common in your sport and how to prevent them. Even better, make sure you know how to treat them and make sure that you always have muscle tape in your bag.
Be a good coach for everyone, not just the best athletes in your group. This is where the good from the best coaches get distinguished. You need to see the potential in all your players and focus on making them better.
Create clear goals with actionable steps to achieve those goals each practice session as well as seasonally. If you know where you envision your team or player heading in the future, you need to communicate it clearly. Make sure that everyone is on the same page and that there is no misunderstanding.
Make sure you are getting enough rest and take care of yourself to be effective during practices and games. Stress is a serious factor in this profession, and it will cause you to burn out quickly if you don’t manage it correctly.
Don’t Get Pressured
Do not let parents’ pressure you into pushing their child to achieve more than they are capable of achieving now or in the long run. You know what is needed in the sport you teach. That is why you are the coach, and they are not. You also need to protect your players (even from their parents) as it will affect your game if they are being bullied or their head is not in the game.
Bring The Good And The Bad
Prepare for adversity and be prepared to deal with it as much as possible during practice sessions and games. For example, suppose a player is struggling at passing. In that case, you could have them focus on this skill set during drills that help improve other skills sets such as dribbling or shooting, which will ensure that players still get enough work done even when focusing on one particular area. Or, having talks with the team before or after games to talk about what worked and didn’t work from previous practices so everyone can receive constructive criticism from teammates rather than being constantly praised by parents and coaches, which may go to their heads.
Consistency Is Key
Be consistent in your coaching style, whether at practice or at games. If you are not consistent, you will send mixed signals to the players, and it will affect the outcome of the game (and not in a positive way).
The Ending Is Just As Important As The Middle
End practices with something positive, rather than just ending it abruptly by saying, “That’s all for today,” which gives off the impression that there is nothing else left to learn during that session.