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Coaching is a widely visible career that subjects a coach to public review and criticism. A college coach is a primary motivator and mentor of the squad mates on the athletic field. It is important for the success of an athletic program to have a coach to lead the team in meeting their goals and objectives. Anyone can coach, but not everyone can lead an athletic team to victory (Witte, 2010). As a result, for a team to succeed, it must have a coach that holds unique attributes and traits that can improve the game efficiency of the team's players. This paper focuses on the attributes of a successful collegiate coach while interacting with the team players.
A successful collegiate coach must portray absolute knowledge of the sport to the team, which is beyond the basic rules and regulations of the sport. Despite the necessity of proving the basic knowledge in sports, a good coach must also exhibit to their players that he/she is well detailed with professional skills and tactics for the sports. Most sports usually evolve with time and it is the responsibility of the coach to flow with dynamism and be able to incorporate the changing rules and tactics to the athletes.
A successful collegiate coach must portray patience to the players and must indicate tolerance to handle the long season, frustration of the players, and the tiresome training schedules. To transform a casual college student into a sports player requires consistent practice and the coach leading such people must be able to motivate and cope with the frustrations that come with such situations. The sports activities also takes long seasons and tiresome training. Therefore, a collegiate coach must be patient enough to guide the college players throughout the season (Stevens, 2008).
Effective communication skills is essential key to a successful coaching process and every collegiate coach must possess such characteristics. Effective communication skills entails having a proper mode and tone of communicating to the team players in a way that they will understand best without omitting any information. A good collegiate coach must be able to communicate in a persuasive way, minimize anger, and frustration when interacting with the players. “The best collegiate coach adapts their communication skills to match the individual personalities of the athletes (Witte, 2010).” Through motivating and using inspiring words, a coach may possibly increase the likelihood of success.
A good coach should also portray leadership skills so that the team players can respect and look up to the coach as an inspiration. Good leadership skills incorporates the ability to make organized actions while training the players, inspire, and guide the players throughout the season. The first commitment of a good coach is the ability to be the expert that the players will look up to. As a good leader, the coach should be disciplined enough to obey the set rules of the sports, exhibit a positive attitude, lead the team by being example, and respect the performance of the team. Collegiate players are sensitive and thus require the positive motivation and guide to assist them gain a constant interest in the sports (Witte, 2010). Therefore, a good collegiate coach must be able to empower the players and show them a winning end even if it does not seem to be that way.
Observation is key to a successful coaching experience. Despite being patience, a good coach should also be a good observer and must know the sports culture as it stands. The coach must notice the challenges encountering the players and note any possible way of changing the situations. Since the dynamics of the sports keeps on changing, the coach should be able to notice the changes that needs to be incorporated in the team and thus employ such measures. A good coach should also possess accountability for the team’s activities and results.
Honesty is key to a successful coaching practice since it guarantees openness and payoff to the efforts put by the members. A good coach should be able to call a spade a spade in all situations without fear of the repercussions. The coach must praise the improvements of the players and critic the flaws of the team with an aim of increasing the possibility of success. Through implying honesty in the team, the coach cultivates trust and integrity of the players thus making the players to play with discipline (Witte, 2010).
Coaching activity is a unique experience and various coaches do encounter different challenges with their athletes. My experience as a coach was unique and happened 2 years ago. Being a successful football player in my high school, I was awarded the duty of guiding the young football team in my high school and helping them win their final year competition against other schools. The coaching experience was quite new to me thus required me to research and learn the tactical skills of becoming a successful coach.
A coaching philosophy is a documented policy that contains the key components, which helps a coach to improve the results of the athletes (Rezania and Gurney, 2014.). Developing a coaching philosophy was a key objective that helped me to achieve success as a young coach. The first step of my coaching philosophy involved knowing my weaknesses and the areas that required improvement. It took an honest assessment to admit that I had a challenge of dealing with a large group of people. Tolerating young athletes was also a challenge to me and through identifying such weaknesses, I made the progress of learning patience and helping the young athletes achieve their goals.
My second coaching philosophy that helped me guide the high school students was the ability to know my greatest obstacles and thus understanding how to encounter them. Based on my coaching context, it was essential to know the confines of my football team so that I could know the best mode of training. For instance, it was essential to understand the age of the players, the available time for training, their availability to training, and participating in a competition. My third coaching philosophy required me to understand the abilities, personalities, and the target of my team players. This concept required me to interact with my players during and after training as a way of determining their beliefs and values. This concept also helped me to understand the kind of training that suits the team and thus creating an interesting and attractive way of enhancing performance of the football players.
Coaching a young team of students provided an opportunity to exercise my leadership skills and other styles of promoting teamwork. The coaching styles that worked best for me during my experience with a high school football team included the autocratic and democratic styles of coaching. The autocratic style incorporates the decisions that the coach has to make based on what has to be done by the team and how to do it. This style also requires a coach to explain the objectives of the team and guide the players towards achieving their targets. The democratic style also incorporates the ideas of the players and enables the athletes to brainstorm to identify best solutions (Rezania and Gurney, 2014.)
Applying the two styles of coaching promoted growth to athletes and resulted to the success of the entire team. Through sharing the tactics and knowledge that I had applied before, the players learnt to deal with the challenges that rose during a competition. This experience promoted a positive team culture and through honesty, the team learnt how to compete with discipline. At the end of the season, my experience with the school team created a positive environment for the athletes thus making my coaching activity quite successful.
In conclusion, coaching is a unique profession and requires specific qualities to promote success in the team. A good collegiate coach should be patient, informative, honest, dynamic, and inspiring so that the athletes can be motivated and inspired. Through my experience with coaching a high school football team, I employed tactical coaching philosophies that enabled me to create a safe learning environment to the athletes. Through listening and communicating effectively to the young football players, I was able to understand their needs, challenges and values. Having knowledge about the athletes helps the coach to employ tactical strategies that will increase the possibility of success (Stevens, 2008).
Rezania, D., & Gurney, R. (2014). Building successful student-athlete coach relationships: examining coaching practices and commitment to the coach. Springer Plus, 3(1), 383. doi:10.1186/2193-1801-3-383
Stevens, N. (2008). Becoming a coach: A practical guide for personal and professional development. Oxford: How to Books.
Witte, K. S. (2010). Coaching Philosophy: A Systematic Approach for Development. Journal of Coaching Education, 3(2), 40-49. doi:10.1123/jce.3.2.40
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