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Thread: What Qualities Does A Good Coach Have.

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    Default What Qualities Does A Good Coach Have.

    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.
    Qualified National Academy AASE Assessor
    Father of a Scotland Junior Commonwealths Fencer and a Senior Commonwealth Team Foil Gold Medallist

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    Good coaches know their sport.

    Good coaches don't publicly belittle the efforts of other coaches.

    Good coaches make it fun.

    Good coaches are innovators.

    Good coaches have a coaching philosophy.

    Good coaches know the difference between an opposition counter attack and a parry riposte.

    Good coaches are aware of their limitations.

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    Agree with all of the above. Some argue [CITATION NEEDED] that a good coach also instils an entheusiasm for the sport into their charges, particularly beginners, and makes them want to improve out of a love of the sport as well as a desire to succeed.
    Épée-n in the leg.

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    Member Mellish has a spectacular aura aboutMellish has a spectacular aura about Mellish's Avatar
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    Plus, a good coach is approachable. A great coach, like a great school teacher or leader, is charismatic - and uses this quality to motivate pupils.
    'the night express sings his story, the song of sparrownotes on his stave of wires;' (FW 135.34-35)

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    Senior Member ED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond repute
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    Is it missing from the list?

    A great coach gets great results from his/her fencers.
    Edward Peck

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    Member Mellish has a spectacular aura aboutMellish has a spectacular aura about Mellish's Avatar
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    Such a coach could just get lucky and have fencers with great genetic potential - but in fact they despise him. (Now I know that's happened before.)
    'the night express sings his story, the song of sparrownotes on his stave of wires;' (FW 135.34-35)

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    …. brings out the 'best'.
    sometimes you have to herd them

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    Senior Member ED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond repute
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    It's a strange list nevertheless which misses out good outcomes for the fencers.

    Would you describe a good maths teacher as someone who is a "good life teacher"?

    Strange too to talk about getting lucky with "great genetic potential" but yet being despised by the pupils.
    Edward Peck

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    It's not about the coach...

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    Member Mellish has a spectacular aura aboutMellish has a spectacular aura about Mellish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ED_R View Post
    It's a strange list nevertheless which misses out good outcomes for the fencers.

    Would you describe a good maths teacher as someone who is a "good life teacher"?

    Strange too to talk about getting lucky with "great genetic potential" but yet being despised by the pupils.
    My comment was in addition to the long list. There is research demonstrating the importance of 'personal' qualities in a coach, as in being democratic and approachable. I did have a maths teacher who was such an excellent dude that I still think back on him with admiration. Sounds like you may have missed out? ;-)
    'the night express sings his story, the song of sparrownotes on his stave of wires;' (FW 135.34-35)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellish View Post
    My comment was in addition to the long list. There is research demonstrating the importance of 'personal' qualities in a coach, as in being democratic and approachable. I did have a maths teacher who was such an excellent dude that I still think back on him with admiration. Sounds like you may have missed out? ;-)
    Dour Yorkshireman. Occasional very dry wit would make us think he was likeable as well as funny. But he'd soon put us right.

    He did manage to get even me through a level maths however, and in answer to FAs question, that was what I wanted from him. There was no misunderstanding on either side about his role.

    With respect, didn't you most admire the teachers who were most focussed on getting their jobs done well? The ones who thought it was important to be your life teacher had lost their way, mostly?
    Edward Peck

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond repute cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ED_R View Post
    Is it missing from the list?

    A great coach gets great results from his/her fencers.
    What does 'Results' mean?

    We have loads of fencers who gain 'good results' at young age-groups, though lots of those are so broken by the time that they get to their late teens they are not able to fence into senior level.

    We also have to remember, as Coach Carson has mentioned, that it is the fencer who gets the results, however the coaching & set up (club, other support) that gives those fencers the opportunity to get their results.

    A good coach ensures that their fencers have as good quality support as possible in all aspects of their fencing life. In addition they need to be able to advise fencers when they should be prioritizing studies over their sport so to ensure they do not then have to miss training to catch up when training could be more critical in run ups to more important competitions for example..
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    What does 'Results' mean?

    We have loads of fencers who gain 'good results' at young age-groups, though lots of those are so broken by the time that they get to their late teens they are not able to fence into senior level...
    I guess you could list that as a bad result.

    Ok. Perhaps I can express my surprise in your lists by suggesting one with a different focus and order.

    A good coach has a comprehensive technical understanding of fencing and understands how to communicate that effectively to his/her fencers.

    A good coach has a practical understanding of strength and conditioning and successfully builds these skills in his/her fencers.

    A good coach understands sports psychology and is able help his/her fencers develop these skills.

    A good coach makes learning fencing fun.

    A good coach understands child development and understands how people learn.

    A good coach develops his/her teaching skills throughout his/her career and is very organised.

    A good coach plans his lessons, and focuses on, and even measures the outcomes of his/her lessons so that he/she knows and does more of what works.

    A good coach provides sufficient training opportunities to meet the needs of his/her fencers.

    A good coach attends his/her fencers competitions and supports them appropriately.

    A good coach understands and builds good relations with the people on whom the fencer relies, to get the best possible outcomes for the fencer. These people include parents of fencers, school, sponsors, British fencing.
    Last edited by ED_R; -21st February 2013 at 07:29.
    Edward Peck

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    Oh and how about:

    A good coach sticks to the knitting - focussing his attention on developing the fencer as a fencer, and doesn't get distracted by the opportunity to step outside his/her area of expertise to teach other stuff.
    Edward Peck

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    [QUOTE=ED_R;27919
    With respect, didn't you most admire the teachers who were most focussed on getting their jobs done well? The ones who thought it was important to be your life teacher had lost their way, mostly?[/QUOTE]

    One day over coffee I'll tell you the story of how my maths teacher intervened to sort out some of his wayward pupils, and in a most unexpected way. But I think the lucky ones have many life coaches, different people who provide a different steer at different times, and who were knowledgable enough and inspiring enough to make the difference. A fencing coach cannot be a signpost for everything a pupil comes across in life, but mustn't be the weak link. Getting the job done well is baseline - then add the character and personality to bring what we do 'to life', to make it fascinating and worthwhile. My 2p.
    Last edited by Mellish; -21st February 2013 at 07:49. Reason: Typo
    'the night express sings his story, the song of sparrownotes on his stave of wires;' (FW 135.34-35)

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    Oh ok. We can have a little bit of "inspirational" in the list. Just so long as you don't list it before fencing skills, and teaching skills.

    IMO inspirational can be really annoying when all you want to know is how to do a good foot shot.

    Coffee sounds good.
    Edward Peck

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond repute cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ED_R View Post
    A good coach attends his/her fencers competitions.
    This is something that can cause a reliance on the coach.

    A good coach helps their fencers learn to stand on their own two feet, adapt their fencing when they need to themselves and be able to cope when the coach is not at the end of the piste.


    My coach for all my formative years was Brian Pitman, however he rarely saw me fence at competition, however because of this I learnt how to compete without constant coaching. I would in no way class him as anything but an excellent coach..

    I generally try to stay away from my fencers (watching from a distance, or often running events) and though in finals etc I will give advice in the breaks, usually a simple 'bend your legs, keep your distance and keep moving' is all that is needed.

    I have seen many fencers who get to a point that they are lost when they go abroad and their own personal coach cannot travel with them..
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

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    Difficult for me to argue with your experience, but self reliance is surely only one of the lessons which needs to be learned at a competition. As a parent watching a fencer repeat the same error leading to a swift departure it is hard not to feel things would better if the coach was present.

    It seems strange to be there for the preparation, but not the execution of the skills when it really matters.

    I hope I can cover the danger of over reliance by my reference to "appropriate" support.
    Edward Peck

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    Difficult for me to argue with your experience, but self reliance is surely only one of the lessons which needs to be learned at a competition.
    How is the young fencer going to learn that when the coach is there all of the time?

    It is unrealistic (unless you have very deep pockets) to expect a coach to be at every tournament. We're not a professional sport and many coaches have other jobs. Even those that are full time have to manage their own clubs and you might be asking that coach to take time out working with his other fencers.

    Is that fair on them?

    I understand you're describing an ideal but I think I broadly agree with Chris on this one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ED_R View Post
    Difficult for me to argue with your experience, but self reliance is surely only one of the lessons which needs to be learned at a competition. As a parent watching a fencer repeat the same error leading to a swift departure it is hard not to feel things would better if the coach was present.
    Self-reliance on the piste should be taught at club and within lessons. Fencers need to have within their training and lessons problem solving so that the fencer does not repetidly get hit the same way. Leaving this to when kids go to competitions is far too late.

    This is the difference between a 'tick-tack' coach and a coach who help kids to deal with situations on the piste. Over pampering by the piste is a real problem and the great way of seeing if this is happening is by deliberetly not having coaches at certain events and to see if the fencers can still perform to the same level as they do without the coach attending.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

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