Coaching Sport can be as difficult and as demanding, as playing it. Good coaching and poor coaching often have major (and lasting) impacts on the individual athlete or a team and can become magnified out of proportion to the coaching direction itself. The complete and well-trained sports coach is a multidimensional personality, possessing a wide range of technical, communication, and interpersonal skills.

There is no one source from which good or poor sports coaches are produced. Many successful coaches were sports players with average physical talents; others developed coaching skills through formal academic or sports institute education. However, all sports coaches must possess certain attributes, some in greater measures than others, to provide effective direction to their athletes or teams. A prerequisite to coaching is a technical knowledge of the sport he or she coaches. A passion for the sport is an asset on its own, but a love of the game in isolation is not sufficient grounding for coaching effectiveness. While it may not be essential that the coach possess tactical genius, the coach must have a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of the sport, or the coach will not be able to provide the necessary direction to the athletes in either training programs or competitive events.

Coaching skills include preparing physical training programs and practice planning. Technical sports knowledge permits the coach to plan how the athletes will best develop their skills for competition. A critical part of coaching is the establishment of realistic overall performance goals. To achieve such goals, the thorough coach develops training programs divided into the general periods of preseason, competitive season, and off season, with each of these periods divided into sub-periods to take into account such events as a special competition or injury rehabilitation. All training is directed toward a training objective, which in turn must be focused toward a distinct competitive or performance goal. A coach must have a solid understanding of performance and the function of the body in every respect, as the coach must appreciate the limits of human capabilities if training is to be maximized without exceeding athletic capabilities.

Mental and psychological training for the athletes is critical. The coach is the prime motivational support for both individual athletes and teams. It is the coach who sets the tone for the quality of training sessions. Coaches also lead the effort to motivate and to maintain the athlete's emotional control during competition.

A coach needs to impart tactical ability in competitive situations. Many coaches are skilled at scouting an opponent and devising a strategy, commonly described as the development of a game plan. The execution of the game plan by a team often depends on the coach's ability to make tactical adjustments during the course of the competition. A coach must develop a resolute emotional control to minimize the influence of external competitive forces, such as officiating and crowd noise, to implement the game plan or to make such adjustments to the plan as circumstances may demand. An effective coach in a game situation will usually be able to detach to a certain degree from these influences without losing touch with the emotional state of the team or individual athlete. Tactical success also requires the coach to remain current with every development and performance trend in the sport.

The coach should be the primary personal support for the athlete or team. Coaching is, at its heart, a trust relationship between coach and player. At its best, the coach is a supremely influential figure for good in the life of the athlete, a sporting mentor with whom the athlete has a powerful emotional bond. The successful coach puts the interests of the athlete ahead of his or her own in every circumstance. In rare cases, the often well-intentioned coach controls the athlete in every aspect of his or her life. Such coaches often lose sight of their primary duty to develop the skills of the athlete.

This website will help coaches to structure training sessions by providing them and their players with the basic skills of each sport that is needed to coach effectively and efficiently. Included are the Rules and Laws of over 40 sport codes which must be read and understood before attacking, defending, hitting, passing, catching or throwing any object related to sport, is attempted.

Enjoy coaching and remember it is a privilege to coach young people. Coaching should never be viewed as a job!

Coach Ed