Coach Brad · Development · Education

What is Coaching?

What is sport coaching? Coaching is many things to many people and generally different definitions and thoughts follow when discussing the topic. To get on board with what we are attempting to get better at, I believe that a detailed concept of the term coaching should be created.

Through observation, I have realized what I do not believe consists of coaching. Coaching is not:

  • Yelling at officials.
  • Yelling at athletes.
  • Simply designing plays/training sessions and wondering why the athletes do not execute.
  • Participating with the athletes.
  • Developing inappropriate relationships with participants and parents.
  • Being the best recruiter.
  • Punishing the individual/team through physical exercise.
  • Like it looks in a movie or in a televised sporting event.

What is coaching and why is it so hard to explain? Coaching is complicated because it is tied to the individual’s self-esteem. If winning and losing in competition and comparison to others are how a coach measures their success, they will have to win every game to feel worthy. This is the point where coaches lose their way and often use ineffective coaching practices to attempt to “motivate” or “condition” the athletes. Many coaches focus on the result as their measuring stick for success and if the team is not winning, that is when the poor, ineffective behavior begins to take over.

The mindset of the coach determines the values of the team. What the coach thinks is important, how the coach acts at training and games, and communication tendencies play a large role in team success. How does the team define success and can all participants believe in this idea?

The perplexing life of a coach has individuals within the profession with varied beliefs, assorted levels of coaching experience/education, and different agendas. Without one clear idea of what coaching is, many people misinterpret their experiences from their youth and what they see on social media/television to be productive coaching. With a belief in what coaching is, we can provide one grand idea that can be further expanded upon to ensure a positive experience for all athletes.

How I believe coaching is defined:

Coaching is fostering positive relationships in order to create, motivate, and influence athletes to develop on and off field habits that lead to individual and group success.

Coming Soon: What is Coaching Part II where we break down our definition of coaching.

Empowering athletes, families, coaches, and organizations to create opportunities for lifetime success,

Coach Brad

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2 thoughts on “What is Coaching?

  1. Great article Brad.
    It takes thought and planning to successfully coach! Proper investment in a kid can mean so much!

  2. Well said! All coaches should read this every season to remind them of the responsibility and importance of their leadership!

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