By Nolan Kowal, Sport Performance Specialist
A coach can impact your life both on and off the field in ways that can shape who you are and who you become.
A good coach can boost a player’s confidence, make them physically and mentally stronger, and increase their will to succeed.
Right now, we’re living in a time that is testing all of our wills as we practice social (physical) distancing – guidance from a trusted source can go a long way in helping an athlete navigate tough times.
Coaching Principles Still Apply During a Pandemic
It’s important all coaches remember one of coaching’s most important rules: you’re not coaching an athlete, you’re coaching a person to be an athlete.
Before someone can truly excel in sports, they need a coach to teach them the necessary skills and then work on strengthening them, so when game time comes around, the movements feel like they’ve done them all their life.
“Developing a more physically literate athlete develops their long-term abilities,” Coaching Manager Susan Lamboo said.
Right now, however, a coach can’t meet with their athletes, but that’s no excuse to lose contact. Staying connected with your athletes in isolation is essential – it keeps them motivated and keeps them focused on their goals.
It’s important these connections are more than just basic check-ins. The principles of coaching haven’t been abandoned because of social (physical) distancing.
Providing constructive criticism, encouraging taking risks, and letting athletes learn from their experience are all important skills for a coach.
“Being able to provide [your athletes] the opportunity to try stuff out and to fail, then learn from it and move on [is essential],” Lamboo said.
Your Education and Training Never Stops
Every coach should understand that learning and growing from failure is one of the core tenants of personal development that is essential to the growth of an athlete.
But how does a coach learn to train a person into a pro?
If you’re a new coach and you’ve picked the sport you want to coach, you’ll need someone reputable who can teach you how to connect with your players so you can mature and evolve together.
If you are well into your coaching career, guidance to continue to be the best coach you can be with the help of the latest tools, resources and training is invaluable.
Sport Manitoba teaches Manitobans how to grow athletes’ strengths, safe sport coaching techniques, and how to develop an athlete’s physical and mental skills.
“Sport Manitoba provides [these resources] so the coach has everything they need to provide their athlete what they need to succeed at whatever level they want,” Lamboo said.
Staying connected with your athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the best things you can do to help them grow. And staying connected with Sport Manitoba Coaching is a great way to learn how.