Before we start discussing what skills and qualities a good coach needs to have, we first need to understand how difficult a coaching profession truly is. Coaching is considered a frustrating, thankless, ‘no win’ kind of occupation. It’s a job that is usually performed in a public fishbowl. If you are a coach, you are constantly in a visible position that continuously exposes you the evaluation and scrutiny of the public. It’s a profession that allows the general public to weigh in on your job whether you want their opinions or not. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the qualities that make a good coach and how you can improve on your current coaching skills going forward.
Athletes Need To Believe In Themselves
Good coaches always inspire their athletes to believe that they can do more that they could possibly imagine. Even good teachers do this for each of their students. They managed to get their students to believe in possibilities that stretch the limits of what they believe in. To inspire athletes, you essentially need to build them up as oppose to breaking them down. Good coaches build on self-esteem instead of undermining their athletes.
Avoid Using Humiliation and Embarrassment as Teaching Tools
Really effective coaches don’t humiliate or embarrass their athletes as they fully understand that humiliating and embarrassing an athlete for a short-coming, failure, or mistake is an aggressive assault on them that doesn’t enhance their performance or build on their mental toughness. There’s nothing constructive or educational about it. All it actually does it tear down the athlete and undermines their self-esteem which will eventually create performance issues.
A Great Coach = A Great Life Teacher
Good coaches are fully aware that their teaching goes far beyond the simple X’s and O’s. A good coach doesn’t just teach the strategy, technique, and skills that encompasses a specific sport. They also provide important life lessons such as integrity, honesty, fair play, good sportsmanship, emotionally dealing with losing and winning, sacrificing individual desires to benefit the team, trusting teammates, rebounding and handling setbacks and failures, and mastering hardship.
Don’t Let Self-Worth and Egos Get Tied Up In The Outcome
Good coaches don’t feel diminished when their team fails in a match, and they don’t get overexcited and feel good about themselves when a team succeeds either. A good coach fully understands that coaching is only one factor of many and therefore don’t allow their professions to define them as a person. Coaches that are in serious trouble with athletes are usually more vulnerable emotionally and often feel threatened by failure or a loss.
Understand Differences Between Individual Athletes
A good coach is always aware that each individual in their team is different in sensitivity, response-ability, personality, attitude, and how they handle adversity and criticism. A good coach takes the necessary time to understand each athlete on a personal level. They then use this information to hand-tailor each individual to get the maximum performance out of them.