Strategies for coaching success

You must know yourself and your strengths and weaknesses as a coach. Just as you expect your athletes to work on their weakness and maximize their strengths you should also. Know the sport that you are working with, become an expert; leave no stone unturned in your search for knowledge.

Know the body and how it responds to training. Recognize the role growth and development play in the training process. Learn to see movement better. Great coaches have a great “eye”. That is not by chance. They have cultivated the art of pattern recognition. You must be able to evaluate movement in order to improve it. Know the athlete, recognize the individual difference, one size never fits all; but never base a training plan on the lowest common denominator. Set the bar high and observe what happens. Make things relevant. Make training competitive and keep score. There is no better preparation for competition than a competitive practice environment.

Be creative, build movement and drill progressions in which game skill and tactics are included. Think outside the box; find ways to make the work fun without being frivolous. Learn what you don’t know and do not be limited by what you do know. Create a resource library for yourself, and fellow coaches and parents. Make use of the resources you already have. Knowledge is power, you can never know too much. Beware of “mindless” rather than mindful preparation. Know the athlete and how they respond to coaching, criticism, praise, competition, losing, and winning. How does the athlete respond (physically) to training, skill work, recovery, rest, travel, and fatigue? How do they respond to the coach? Make your specialty being a generalist so that you connect and synthesize the information into a coherent whole. Heed the words of Albert Einstein, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but simpler”

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