Getting the Forum back on track!! Making us think and be positive.
Saw this referred to on Twitter. So, what do the fencers out there want from their coaches.
Here are the starters.
1. The very best coaches GET THEIR ATHLETES TO BELIEVE in themselves - Good coaches
inspire their players to do more than they think they can.
2. The really effective coaches DO NOT USE EMBARRASSMENT & HUMILIATION AS “TEACHING TOOLS”
3. Great coaches are GREAT LIFE TEACHERS – A good coach understands that what he/she is teaching goes far beyond the X’s & O’s of the court, track or field
4. The best coaches KEEP THE GAME IN PERSPECTIVE – Somewhat related to #3, the best coaches are able to keep their sport in perspective. They do not get distracted by how big any one game is in relation to their job as a teacher.
5. Great coaches DO NOT LET THEIR EGOS AND SELF-WORTH GET TIED UP IN THE OUTCOME - The best coaches are psychologically healthy enough to know that they are NOT their performances, regardless of what others around them may say.
6. Great coaches UNDERSTAND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN THEIR ATHLETES – The best coaches have a basic understanding that each athlete on their team is different in attitude, personality, response-ability, sensitivity and how they handle criticism and adversity
7. The best coaches COACH THE PERSON, NOT JUST THE ATHLETE – Really effective coaches take the time to get to know the athlete as a person. They take an interest in the athlete’s life off the field, court or track.
8. The best coaches are FLEXIBLE – They are flexible in their approach to their teaching and they are flexible in their approach to their players.
9. The great coaches are GREAT COMMUNICATORS - You can’t be effective as a coach unless you can successfully reach the individuals who you are working with. Good coaches understand that communication is a two-way street and involves a back and forth between coach and athlete.
10. Good coaches TAKE THE TIME TO LISTEN TO AND EDUCATE THEIR ATHLETES’ PARENTS – Many coaches find it a bit of an inconvenience that they have to actually deal with the parents of their athletes.
11. GOOD COACHES “WALK THE TALK” WITH THEIR ATHLETES AND PARENTS - If you want to be effective in reaching those that you coach, then you must learn to put your actions where your mouth is. That is, there must be some congruence between what you say and how you act.
12. Good coaches KEEP THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT EMOTIONALLY SAFE – There are a lot of social things that go on in sports between teammates that make the learning environment emotionally unsafe. Scapegoating, ostracism, cruelty, emotional and physical abuse, acted out petty jealousies and the list goes on and on. Many coaches refuse to deal with these “locker room” or “soap opera” issues because they don’t necessarily happen on the field and therefore, these coaches claim, they have nothing to do with the athlete’s or team’s performance.
13. Great coaches CONTINUALLY CHALLENGE THEIR ATHLETES TO DO BETTER AND PUSH THEIR LIMITS – One way that great coaches inspire their athletes to believe in themselves is by continually putting them in situations which challenge their limiting beliefs.
14. The best coaches CONTINUALLY CHALLENGE THEMSELVES – Good coaches practice what they preach. They continually model the attitudes and behaviors that they want their players to adopt.
15. The very best coaches are PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT THEY DO – Success in and out of sports very often comes out of a love for what you are doing. The more you love your sport, the better chance that you have of reaching your goals.
16. Good coaches are EMPATHIC AND TUNED INTO THE FEELINGS OF THEIR PLAYERS - Empathy is the ability to tap into another's feeling, experience what they are feeling and to then communicate your understanding to that other person. When you are empathic you demonstrate the skill of being able to step into another's shoes and walk in them long enough so that you truly can feel what he/she is feeling from his/her model of the world, NOT yours!
17. Good coaches are HONEST AND CONDUCT THEMSELVES WITH INTEGRITY - What else needs to be said about this one? Your most powerful teaching tool as a coach is modeling. How you conduct yourself in relation to your athletes, their parents, your opponents, the referees, the fans and the media is never lost on your players.
18. The best coaches MAKE THE SPORT FUN FOR THEIR ATHLETES – It doesn’t really matter what level that you coach at from the pros all the way down to Little League.
19. Good coaches are NOT DEFENSIVE IN THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH THEIR PLAYERS OR PARENTS – Part of being a good communicator is that you have to be open to negative feedback and criticism. This is not something that is very easy to do and most of us respond to this kind of negative feedback by getting defensive, closing off and going on the counter attack.
20. Great coaches USE THEIR ATHLETES’ MISTAKES AND FAILURES AS VALUABLE TEACHING OPPORTUNITIES - One of the bigger teaching mistakes that coaches make is to get angry and impatient with their athletes when they mess-up or fail.
This is what I believe: A good coach will teach the athlete to love the sport. They will inspire that athlete to dream big and take risks in pursuit of that goal. They will motivate the athlete to work hard, push through pain and fatigue and bounce back from setbacks and failures. They will build trust among team members and teach each athlete to sacrifice the "I" for the "we." A good coach will teach valuable life lessons and model these through their behaviors and interactions with the athlete and everyone they come in contact with. A good coach will directly and indirectly change that athlete into a better, more confident, happier person.