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The Habits of Highly Effective Coaching

The great philosopher Aristotle once stated, “We are what we do repeatedly. Therefore, excellence is not an act but merely a habit”. With that being the case, what exactly are the habits of highly effective coaching? What are the factors that sensational coaches do every single day to make them so great?

1. Make training more demanding and more challenging than the competition the athletes are targeting.

World-class coaches are well aware that competition is the last place to find out where the athletes mental and physical limits are. It’s for this reason that training needs to be more demanding and more challenging, emotionally, tactically, technically, mentally, and physically than the competition the athlete is preparing for.

2. Develop and learn as a coach at a faster pace than the athlete.

Renowned coaches quickly realise that success is all about a moving target and that the primary goal is to stay relevant by committing to continuous improvement, honest professional and personal evaluation, and life-long learning.

3. Accelerate the rate of learning in a quicker time frame than your opposition.

The introduction of the internet has insured that there’s no longer any secrets in the world of sport. This means that everyone essentially knows what you know and anyone can obtain anything at anytime from anywhere and its absolutely free. Learning something new everyday is what everyone is doing and phenomenal coaches are aware of this and always strive to accelerate their learning curve in a quicker manner than their opposition.

4. Enhance your thinking skills creatively

Creativity is the key difference between being a good coach and a phenomenal coach. A good coach can easily follow a program, while phenomenal coaches invent them. This allows coaches to create new ideas and new directions which will completely change the sport. Always remember that copying kills and if you decide to follow others or simply duplicate their success, it will eventually turn into a recipe for disaster.

5. Embark on individual coaching

Every significant moment in a sporting event, regardless of the sport, is person on person. There’s no more true team sporting events left. With performance analysis calculating at fractions of seconds and millimetres, every athlete’s weaknesses and strengths are known by the opposition. World-class coaches constantly engage with athletes by inspiring them. To successfully inspire them, they prepare the athlete with passion and help them realise their full potential.

6. Ensure every athlete prepares themselves in every aspect for the opposition.

The days of winning a game or match by having the fittest athlete are long gone. Sport is considered so multi-dimensional that victory stems from being the very best in every possible aspect, including nutrition, travel management, sleep, gym-training, recovery, attitude, skills, preparation, training, etc. World-class coaches are well aware of this fact and always strive to develop winning environments.

7. Adapt your training programs and plans to optimise the impact of each athlete at each and every training session.

The world’s best coaches plan meticulously and with remarkable attention to detail. However, they also fully understand that the primary goal is to ensure the training session offers optimal opportunities for the athletes to be fully prepared.

Legendary Coaching Philosophies

Real leaders inspire their players to better their performance through a philosophy, we look at the principles of the greatest. Phenomenal couches are logicians, thinkers, and philosophers, embracing and developing ideologies that ensure they are more effective at crafting winning team cultures one season after the other. The all-time greats are coaches that successfully ingrain their own philosophy into their players, and they are the ones who leave behind legacies to remember. From embracing focussing to meditation, the fundamentals hone consistent and a clear worldview that inspires and empowers players to constantly perform at their very best.

Phil Jackson Coach of the Chicago Bulls


Jackson was an avid practitioner of meditation since he read the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, not long after he started leading meditational groups, campaigning selflessness, compassion and mindfulness. His mediation assisted him in leading the team to win no less than eleven NBA championships. Jackson noted that the goal of meditation was to strengthen the muscles of the mind, athletes could learn to centre and focus themselves, leaving only that required to perform at their very best. One of his techniques was to have players sit still in practice, his way of teaching them where their shoulders should be, how to hold their hands as well as the complete process of being in upright situations and the team bought into it.

Bill Belichick Head Coach of the Patriots


Winning fourteen seasons one after the other was Belichick’s legacy, do your job was his philosophy. His training was all about showing players the art of focus only on that they could control, their output, their performance. Everything else was to be ignored as it was just noise. In today’s fast-passed, hyper-connected environment getting distracted is easy. Ultimately the best performers in sports are those able to concentrate on their own responsibilities, it’s a matter of own your tasks or work and to embrace the clarity of it.

John Wooden Head Coach UCLA

Wooden had only a trio of rules, don’t make excuses, don’t complain and never whine only do your best. Keep moving forward even when things go wrong, don’t stop to complain or blame it only slows you down.

Mike Krzyzewski Head Coach Duke Basketball

Krzyzewski’s remarkable record is credited to his philosophy of next play. His belief is that not all is about what happened, that is the biggest mistake anyone can make, it’s never about the success you had before, it is always about the next play, the next thing you are planning to do, that way you can never fall behind.

Bill Walsh Head Coach San Francisco


The Score Takes Care of Itself became a hit written by Walsh, in it, he explains in detail the concept of success. In advance of a game he wrote down every possible play for every situation, it gave him the confidence that he could execute any of it under pressure. Hard work is making decisions, always focus on the best outcome while being fully prepared for the worst.

Women versus Men Coaching

Many have asked this question. This is one that has crossed the mind of many sports enthusiast but is there any major differences when it comes to men coaching versus women who coach sports. It is a controversial topic one that can unleash hours of constructive disagreement and dialogue, yet it also a topic that needs to be explored.

Coachability Female vs Male

This is where sportsmen need to take a step back as women tend to be more coachable and more adaptable than males. Many sports coaches agree that female athletes accept new techniques easier and are especially open to anything that boosts performance. When it comes to respect females give their coaches a lot of respect instead of making their coach prove credibility, they are also far more appreciative and express their gratitude more willingly. It is female athletes that strive to impress their coaches and is much easier motivated.

Sportsmen are convinced of their ability, which makes them less coachable. Male athletes feel they know the sport as well as their own power and often dismisses what coaches suggests and at times question the coach’s credibility, so often male coaches need to prove themselves. It is not unheard of that male athlete’s brace against the coach, but to be fair, it also depends on the coaching approach, in case a coercive style is used it is known that male athletes will seek ways to prove the coach wrong, in the same situation female athletes shut down. But then again coercive coaching in many instances can yield desired short-term results.

Male vs Female Confidence

For any athlete confidence is critical, and both women and male can struggle with it, although it seems woman struggle most with it, and have a tough time even when they become elite athletes. While confidence in male athletes almost comes naturally as men are taught toughness and confidence from an early age.

How Male vs Female Athletes Handle Criticism

Male athletes depersonalise criticism in general, which forces coaches to be more specific and once sportsmen realise the criticism is directed at them they tend to fight it. Females always think the criticism is aimed at them, even when it is not, and they are a lot more sensitive to all comments made by the coach. It is probably in criticism where the biggest difference between male/female coaching is visible and even during matches females takes any loud tones or blunt language from the opposition as a personal attack.

Female/Male Athlete Chemistry

In both genders, chemistry is majorly important although it is again even more so for females. Each of the female athletes wants to feel connected to everyone on the team, while male athletes are less concerned about chemistry. This demands that coaches of female athletes are sensitive to the team’s social cohesion, while male coaches need to focus on task cohesion and making sure everyone is committed to the same goal, embraces their roles and are on the same page.

Mental Health Action Plan Improves Elite Athlete Support

A new mental health action plan was recently unveiled by the UK Government, its aim is to improve the support available to elite sportsmen and women. Due to the new action plan both support staff and coaches will receive additional training to identify the signs of mental health problems in athletes.The new mental health strategy will improve awareness as well as promote the mental wellbeing of athletes while at the same time provide the National Governing Bodies with the information needed to properly access clinical and sports psychologists. Elite sports must by 2024 implement the mental health procedures as part of its performance plans as well as offer all athlete’s clear pathways to access the assistance they need via professional mental health support.

Athletes funded by the National Lottery will also be encouraged to make use of the action plan by visiting mental health units to help break down and improve the stigma around mental health. Part of the plan is also to embed good mental health practice at the grassroots level. Should Sports England succeed with ingraining mental wellbeing via a strategy that includes teaching mental health welfare alongside athlete physical training it could change sports around the globe?

Could Mental Health Action Have Impact Worldwide

Developed by the Minister who also hosted roundtable a year ago, one with the elite athletes across all aspects of British sport and the other with mental health organisations, the conclusion was that an action plan could improve the support available to elite sports stars.

Civil Society and Sports Minister, Tracy Crouch shared that sport has a positive impact on individuals mental health, it is when a sport is your main income and thousands of fans depend on your performance, the enormous pressure athletes are under to succeed, can become too much. The action plan sees mental health and sports organisations work closely together to provide athletes with the correct support well in advance and before the situation reach crisis point.

First Ever Mental Health Action Plan for Elite Sports Professionals

The Chief Executive of Mind, Paul Farmer feels that the mental health action plan is an important step in ensuring that elite athlete can easily access support and help for their mental health, clear objectives are set in the plan. He also shared his delight that both Civil Society and the Minister of Sport is actively involved in the action plan. In the UK, and probably worldwide, one in four are affected by a mental health problem and professional sportswoman and men are no different. There has been an increase in sportspeople coming forward to reveal mental problems such as anxiety and depression, which confirmed the urgent need for an action plan. Still, no one knows how many athletes are still struggling in silence even though more and more are speaking out and asking for help regarding their mental health problems. The first step is to offer elite athletes a safe-haven to discuss any symptoms at an early as possible stage, to then enjoy the care and attention needed and to get the situation under control.

Selecting A Sports Coach Who Rises Above All

Choosing just one of the greatest sports coaches of all time is a massive task no matter which sport you’re passionate about, and when the New York Times tried to select one, it failed as they halted their search once these names came up. It’s impossible since how do you choose when the names include the NFL star Vince Lombardi, College football super-star Larry Kehres, Scotty Bowman a master in hockey coaching, tennis’s Richard Williams, soccer’s Alex Ferguson, and then still need to add College basketball’s Pat Simmitt.

Alex Ferguson Did Remarkable Things for Soccer


Long before Alex Ferguson became a household name or started filling up the trophy case of Manchester United, he was already doing remarkable things for Scotland’s St. Mirren team as a soccer coach. As he took over the running of the club in 1974, by 1977, he led the team to a title win in the first division only one rung below that of the top league.

Ferguson moved to Aberdeen by 1979, which was a respected club in Scotland but hardly the match for the perennial powers of the Rangers or Celtic. By 1983 he achieved astonishing results by leading Aberdeen to its first European title over Real Madrid as his team claimed the Winners’ Cup the powerhouse of Spain. Just with the list of achievements mentioned up to now, it makes for an illustrious career in sports coaching. Yet for Ferguson, it was never enough, and he went on to do remarkable things for the mighty Manchester United team during his twenty-seven years at the helm. Ferguson retired at age 76 as the manager of Manchester United and during his years pushed the team to win thirty-eight trophies.

Sir Alex Ferguson

It is easy to vote for Ferguson when it comes to the greatest manager and greatest coach in history as he not only qualifies in soccer but also in any other sport on any continent. In 1999 Alex Ferguson was knighted and became Sir Alex Ferguson, it was also the year in which he famously won the Champions League, FA Cup and Premier League.

When it comes to Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United Trophies you start understanding the real impact he had on the powerful team.

• Premier League Trophies:
• 2013, 2011 2009, 2008, 2007, 2003, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1996, 1994 and 1993
• FA Cup Trophies: 2004, 1999, 1996, 1994, 1990
• League Cup Trophies: 2010, 2009, 2006, 1992
• Champion League Trophies: 2008, 1999
• Cup Winners Cup Trophy: 1991
• UEFA Super Cup Trophy: 1992
• FIFA Club World Cup Trophy: 2008
• Inter-Continental Cup Trophy: 1999
• FA Charity & Community Shield:
• 1011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2003, 1997, 1994, 1993 (shared)

Sir Ferguson’s playing career started when he made his debut as a 16-year-old striker with Queen’s Park. According to him, the first match was an absolute nightmare, although he scored a goal in the 2-1 defeat against the Stranraer’s. He went on to score 20 goals in 31 games for his very first team.

Should Men and Women Receive the Same Kind of Coaching?

While coaching shouldn’t be a gendered activity, it does go without saying that men and women are a bit different in a few areas. To put it simply, women are not just men in skirts, and while they can complete the same task on the field, the two genders do act differently regarding their mindsets, behavioural choices, preferences, communication styles, and even how they view the world. However, this is something vital that many coaches miss on instead of tailoring their coaching habits to suit the personal needs of each player better, they seem to disregard the gender aspect. This is not to say that women cannot play as impressively on the field compared to men, but the coaching and advice given to the female players should vary from advice given to male players.

If you’re a coach reading this, and you are still a bit confused onto why you should slowly start to practice tailoring your coaching style for male and female players, listed below are a few reasons which could serve as a motivation on your side.

Positive Transformation Requires Different Approaches

Research from a countless number of studies has shown that at a base level, women and men are different – especially when regarding their professional success, how they view happiness, and rewards. Typically, female players have a different viewpoint on an array of areas that may differ from the male players, such as their work-life balance, ultimate goals, leadership needs, and the impact they want to make in their personal lives and while playing on the field. To put it simply, you may have a solid approach with your male players which can motivate them to perform their best and improve their skills, that same approach may not work as efficiently on female players. This is not a way of saying you should go easy on them in any way – but as a coach, you should consider viewing the players as individuals and relate how you motivate them in a way that is relatable to their lives.

Though as any great coach should know, coaching is not like a pair of pants that has a “one size fits all” sticker. Instead of just focusing on the gender of the players, which can cause some issues. Instead, you view each player as someone who has the same goal in mind of being great and leading the team to success while still being their own people. Plus, one of the best ways to get more comfortable with this idea if to mentor a female only team or become friends with coaches who work mainly with female players. This will give you a broader approach as you would have the extra experience of working with the players and seeing the variety they can come in. Coaching is deeper than having a single plan of coaching. It’s all about operation, motivation, and tailoring your skills for the betterment of each player on the team.

Significance of Safety Equipment is in Exercise and Sports

While activities such as walking require little equipment, other physical activities require the correct equipment for the prevention of injuries. Most importantly the equipment required need to be in good conditions especially when it comes to sports helmets. Sporting injuries can involve either over-use or traumatic injuries, of with the latter occurs suddenly and show in most cases instant signs of injury via bruising, swelling or pain. These injuries could be caused by internal factors such as a muscle pull while others happen due to external factors such as the collision with another person.

External injuries can also be caused by equipment in which the most common are blisters caused by using new shoes or a new racket. Injuries can also occur via accidents and the main aim of taking safety precautions is to prevent accidents. Some sports activities have a much higher risk of injury than others, in ice skating or dancing there is the risk of slipping, or a performer dropping his/her partner. Outdoor activities are in most cases riskier especially challenging activities such as rock climbing, skiing or canoeing. Internal injury causes build up over an extended period, which makes them more challenging to diagnose and some that are quite common includes stress fractures, shin splints, tennis and golfer’s elbow.

Properly fitting Footwear

Wearing the correct footwear is important no matter the physical activity since most boots or sports shoes provide cushioning and blisters is most common when footwear is not a proper and comfortable fit. It is most important to replace footwear that is worn-out no matter whether you’re a runner, cyclist or rock-climber as it prevents sprains and twists.

Mouth Guards and Gum Shield Protection

Mainly worn in action and contact sport such as boxing, rugby, hockey or soccer, mouth guards protect the mouth and the face. It is highly important that it should be made by a dentist to ensure the mouth guard fits properly and offers the best protection.

Protective Padding in Sports Activities

In physical sports such as American Football, hockey, football or cricket players are protected via several forms of padding to prevent injury. In cricket, participants wear gloves, arm pads, leg pads and helmets as well as a box guard to protect them during wicket keeping or batting. Hockey players and footballers wear padding in the form of shin pads, while goalkeepers wear body pads, helmets and leg pads as protection. It is most important that the pads are placed correctly to be effective.

Outdoor Safety Equipment

Individuals who partake in outdoor sporting events normally use additional safety equipment, sailors and canoeists wear life jackets and buoyancy aids to assist in the case where they land in the water. Mountaineers and rock-climbers use harnesses with safety ropes attached to help in case of a slip or fall. Safety equipment is vital whether individuals follow a fitness plan or participates in any form of spots since a single injury can knock back your fitness for months.

Some of the Best Sports Coaches Gives Their Advice

Over the years, there have been numerous lists of the best coaches who led their teams to success. While the success comes from a smooth cohesiveness of the coaching staff and the players – some of the top coaches are giving some words of advice that any coach can take into consideration and apply it to themselves and their teams.

Joe Girardi


One of the best examples comes from Joe Girardi, the coach of the New York Yankees who helped the team win their 27th championship title. He has a well-known record of winning over 500 games while being a manager, though, there is a science behind his constant stream of success other than having fantastic players. Girardi admits that he always tells his players before a game to listen to their guts rather than sticking to the plan. To put it simply, he is a strong believer in the belief that overthinking causes more bad than good – if you are prepared, playing and adapting is going to become a second instinct on the field. Girardi continues that this information can be applied for both rookies and professional stars. He believes that the coach must lead by example and ensure that the players are prepared both physically and mentally before each game, while also knowing their strong and weak points.

Bela Karolyi


Bela Karolyi is the pro at adapting to a player’s needs as the gymnasts who trained under him have earned a total of nine gold medals at the Olympics. Karolyi thinks that ensuring that you teach each team player an in individual as they all have different characters and respond differently to different coaching techniques. He happily reminiscence about a few of the girls he coached, such as the stark comparison between Nadia Comaneci who was like a racehorse ready to go, while on the other hand, Kerri Strug was softer and needed the reinforcement of her skills to be successful. Just having a different approach to a one on one with the players can drastically affect how they perform when its time to go – and most of the time if the coach has tailored their approach, it can lead to trophies and gold medals.

Sir Alex Ferguson


Sir Alex Ferguson name may ring a bell as he is one of the legendary coaches who managed Manchester United. During an interview, he decided to reveal some of his tips which lead the team to the successful reign it had. One of the main things he noticed that it’s only a few players that get better with criticism, the approach of trying to be more encouragement has shown a countless amount of times to result in better gameplay and higher motivation. Even when he must correct a player, he would do it at the moment and move on instead of the constant berating which is commonplace.

Ferguson admitted that observing was the saving grace. Watching if a player changed in any way easily helped Ferguson step into the place and ask what was going on – what changed to cause a change in the playing ability. Most times, just showing this kind of concern can easily nip a player going into a hole and losing their spark.

The Best Coaching Advice You’ll Receive

One of the biggest questions in the world of coaching does have an answer, even if that answer is coming from an unexpected source. Though after hearing it, you might agree that this is some of the best coaching advice that any coach can receive. However, this advice is going to stem from you more than anyone else.

The best way to get the answer is to imagine yourself in our older age, maybe in your nineties, after you reached the point of knowing the importance of things in your life. This is considering both your personal life as well as your career. After you get this image clear in your head, just remember that this is some of the best advice you’re going to be getting and it’s coming from an older you.

Firstly, take a few deep breaths and get used to it, but in this case, think to as if you were slowly passing away and taking your final chance to breathe. But instead of meeting a morbid fate, you were given the gift to travel back in time to help yourself today and give you the best personalised advice you possibly could. Advice that would lead you to live out an incredible life.

Consider what really matters

Its true, the older version of yourself knows exactly what is truly important in both your personal life and your coaching career. While this may seem like a big step which involves processing information and evaluating – just take your time. Write out the things that appear in your mind more than once and separate them into two categories – one for personal advice about relationships, family, etc., and one for professionalism.

No matter what, if the older version of you thinks that you’re doing well in these areas then you probably are making the right choices for yourself now. Although, if older future you think you’re screwing up somewhere – chances are you might be. Just remember at the end of the tunnel there’s only one person that you should day your impressed – yourself.

Start evaluating your current life

In the western world, there is a common mantra that is commonly heard daily – the “I will be happy when …” idea. It starts off innocently enough with thoughts of happiness relating to tangible items, such as after getting the promotion, the increase in money, the higher the status. Though this is a disease and the best way to cure it is to start finding happiness and meaning in your life presently. The fact of the matter is when your older and, on your deathbed, it’s going to be family and close friends waving goodbye – the job or your coworkers won’t be in most cases. So, be sure to prioritise what’s truly important to you.

Follow your dreams

One of the most notable recurring thoughts of older people is the wish that they followed their dreams way earlier instead of using them back. Its true, not every dream is achievable or realistic, but that doesn’t mean that you should just automatically give it up before even starting. At least with that mindset, you can always say that you tried rather than come up with reasons on why you didn’t.

Coaching – Mike Scioscia

Perhaps the only sports career tougher than being a professional or star player is being a coach, who must find the correct balance between tough training and motivation to increase athlete’s performance to the best possible level. Amongst people who are successful in sports there is a universal trade of confidence and self-believe, being a top athlete requires a certain degree of selfishness, which is sometimes the hardest part of the job, it is what coaches almost always battle against.

For reasons mentions, the number of sports star players who become successful at coaching is a not as many as you would expect. Not to say, that it is unheard off for a successful athlete to not enjoy a fulfilling career as a pro athlete as well as a pro coach. It is in actual-fact basketball that has produced the most successful star turned coach stories, although there are the odd superstar coaches in just about every sport.

When it comes to athletes that reached the highest rankings in sports and then turned coach, Mike Scioscia is the first that comes to mind. If you have watched baseball, it is easy to tell just how much physical demand is on a catcher, which makes it an extremely difficult position to remain in for more than a decade. Mike Scioscia, remained in this position for 11 years of his sports career and remains one of the greatest baseball players of all times. His World Series rings, many will argue between 1981 and 1988 were pretty good and Scioscia when he took over in 200 he enjoyed major success as the Manager of the Year, which earned him an award.

Scioscia Enjoy Major Success in Sports Career & Major League Coaching

After Scioscia’s sports career ended he became a minor league manager for several seasons as well as a major league coach for the Dodgers. This was before Mike Scioscia accepted the invitation to become the manager of the Angles at the end of the 1999 season. As a manager, he led the Angles to the World Series championship, their only one to date in 2002. When it comes to wins, division titles, and games, he earned the American League Manager of the Year Award in both 2002 as well as 2009.

Scioscia became one of few to win 1,000 or more games on the 8th of May 2011 while he is one of only twenty-three to lead a single team to well over 1,000 victories. In 2015, the tension between Scioscia and Dipoto regarding the way he and some of his coaches delivered statistical reports developed by Dipoto lead to the resignation of Dipoto on the 1st of July 2015, this was despite all the efforts made by the Angels to keep him. Bill Stoneman, the former Angels general manager, who actually, hired Scioscia at the end of 1999, was then appointed as the interim general manager.