Pick up a whistle... know the basics to be a better coach
Coaches do more than measure performance and correct technique. Men and women who coach take on many roles and responsibilities that directly and indirectly influence the performance and development of athletes. As sport science has shown, developing a promising athlete starts at a very early age with the fundamentals. Expertise and in-depth knowledge in coaching is as valuable to youth as it is to Olympians. Let's take a look at some of the primary components of being a coach:
Planning A Practice
Scheduling and organizing activities within a practice that are well structured, adapted to the participants age and ability and reflect the time of the sport season as well as safety considerations.
Giving constructive feedback, describing technique and correcting errors leads to skill development and improving performance. Deciding which drills to emphasize require an understanding of physiology, strength and conditioning techniques and the role of nutrition. Having an appreciation for different athlete learning styles and age appropriate coaching is another useful item in the coach toolkit. Find the Sport for Life materials at www.ltad.ca for resources on growth and long term athlete development.
Communication with athletes is key, however, there are also important conversations needed with parents, administrators, and tournament organizers. While not all factors are controllable, maintaining positive, open relationships will support the environment and influence performance. Get to know your provincial sport organization!
Dealing With Parents
Parents can be the best supporters of your efforts as a coach or a huge time distraction. At the start of a season, it is a good idea to set expectations of parents, keep them informed of your approach and explain their role.