A positive environment is the first step in becoming an exemplary coach and is necessary in developing a strongly bonded team. Structuring a team involves having a strong set of morals and a known and consistently enforced disciplinary process, which is essential in creating a positive and productive morale for any organized group. As a coach, knowing your players or athletes individually is crucial in creating a productive atmosphere.
Coaching is not a job, but a passion. Much of what a coach does for their players often goes underappreciated. Being able to give younger athletes the knowledge I possess about a certain sport allows them to become better players, which allows them to grow beyond classroom walls. Working with individuals, witnessing their improvement and growth is a truly rewarding experience and is what I, as a coach, strive for. However, in order to allow your athletes to gain as much knowledge as possible, you must develop a certain bond with each individual on the team; displaying support, availability and time devoted to each individual. As a coach, I am a mentor to my players and should be an extraordinary example of what they are working to become. Keeping a professional, yet personal relationship with each individual will allow myself to develop unique tactics and practices that may increase that athlete’s performance. This individualization should be a part of the everyday practice, allowing your athletes to set goals for themselves to reach for each day.
Coaching a team involves creating a routine and having a fair amount of repetition to allow athletes to understand the basic structure of a practice. Providing athletes with both praise and constructive criticism all the time is key in allowing them to grow. Too much feedback will hinder and even inhibit performance, so a certain amount of individual goal setting and thought should be incorporated. Keeping that individualization in mind, tailoring pieces of every practice to every member of the team will be most beneficial and lead to the best results. Seeing these results may not be appropriately related with “winning”. “Winning” demonstrates the degree of skill a team possesses. Many times, it only reflects a small number of people on that team who receive the most playing time. As a coach, you want to be able to see where each athlete on your team began, and see that they have improved unquestionably. If your entire team has not noticeably improved, you are not being as effective of a coach as you should.
Effective public school athletics often teach team building and leadership skills that apply both on the field/court as well as in the classroom and real life experiences; helping individuals to become a more complete person. Being able to communicate and interact competitively with good sportsmanship allows individuals to become more driven to succeed. Keeping students active while experiencing situations that can broaden their knowledge of any topic is crucial and shows the community how much of an impact athletics have on their children.
Leaving a team knowing that your athletes are utilizing the knowledge you’ve bestowed upon them is all the recognition and acknowledgement needed when facing the end of my career. Having major recognition is nice, but influencing as many people as I can in a positive way is the true reward. Passing my knowledge and advice down to younger and younger athletes is all I need to know that I was an effective and impactful coach.