What Most Sports Coaches Don’t Get!Nov 04, 2022
Coaching is rarely an easy task. It doesn’t matter if you’re coaching your child’s under 14 soccer team or if you’re the coach of the Port Adelaide Football Club, coaching is a skill that requires balancing a lot of different plates in the air at once. Whether it’s attending to players' wellbeing, developing a competitive game plan or navigating the challenges of overzealous parents or supporters, coaching requires adaptable thinking and behaviours. If you’re already a coach, you will likely be aware of most of this already.
Many coaches, particularly at the local level, are coaching novices that have generously and courageously put their hand up to contribute to their team simply because no one else wanted to do it. These coaches might never have had experience as coaches, yet they’re rarely given any guidance from an under-resourced organisation that is just thankful to have ‘filled the role’. From there it is a rollercoaster ride in navigating all the surprises and challenges that present themselves to a new coach externally, with biases and confrontational communication that manifest from it. Coaching is hard enough on its own even before you consider the self doubt and emotional self regulation required to remain objective and effective.
We have encountered many sports coaches that have expressed that they aren't getting the support they need to know how to create a strong culture and successful environment. These coaches often find themselves fumbling their way through and either experimenting with something they remember doing back when they played sport, or trialling an idea they heard whilst watching a game on TV. If a coach does get some guidance, it seems to usually be around tactics or how to teach specific skills better. But what we have witnessed is that what makes a good coach is not necessarily their technical ability, but their ability to connect with the team, understand their players and teach them skills which extend much further than the sporting field.
What we have observed is that athletes are much more likely to be successful if they are happier, healthier and the rest of their life is in order. Coaches are in a privileged position where they can play a role in helping develop balance across all these areas, yet they aren’t necessarily equipped with the tools or experience to do that. The more a coach can invest in their players, the more benefit they are going to get. When I say benefit, I’m referring to more than just the results on the field/court, but also the ability to help the players to become more successful in their day to day lives. If a coach can help their players to become more adaptable on and off the sports field, then success is going to become a desirable byproduct of all the other successful life balance skills.
Coaches could benefit from more support by their clubs and be encouraged to do some personal development, not only on better drills or game plans, but on things such as communication, systems & structures and building a more connected team and community.
The Adaptability Movement and NEXA Sport have teamed up to create a FREE resource for coaches. The eBook on ‘Top 5 Tips For Coaches This Offseason’ will help coaches to start that journey of personal development, so they can not only improve their coaching but also improve their teams culture, care, dedication and most importantly their ability to adapt under pressure.
Download the eBook for free HERE.
Check out our Adaptable Sports Academies HERE.
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