and it’s limitations
Traditional coaching is the type of coaching that focuses on the physical and technical aspect of sport and pays little attention to the relationship and communication between athletes and coaches. What is the cost?
- ‘Poor communication’ was the leading factor of burnout in high-level teenage athletes. (Sociology of Sport Journal)
- 42% of female student athletes would not consider a future in college athletics because of the poor relationship with their college coach or previous coach.(NCAA Study)
- 232 principals reported 104 coaches were dismissed, the primary reason being poor relationships between the coach and the players. (Journal of PE)
- Coaches’ and athletes’ ratings of coaching behaviour differ significantly with coaches evaluating themselves in a more positive way than their athletes did. Only coaches who consider the opinions and feelings of athletes have the best relationship with athletes. (International Journal of Sports Psychology) Despite the evidence (and there is plenty more like this)...
...few resources are devoted to helping coaches become better communicators and to support better coach-athlete understanding.
What the best coaches do
Research identified the personal characteristics of expert team coaches as:
- Persistent quest for growth and learning
- Strong work ethic
- Effective communication and emphasis on athletes
- Developing a personal coaching style
- Creating fun training and good teaching ability This is consistent with another coaches’ survey on ‘What characterizes a phenomenal coach?’
- 61% stated - focuses on their athletes as a ‘whole person’
- 55% stated - strong communication skills and ability to teach
- 33% stated - persistent in looking for new ways, techniques and tools to improve performance
The results show how important the coach-athlete relationship is.
How to become a phenomenal coach
Self-awareness is the cornerstone of success in all pursuits. Self-aware coaches develop a comprehensive understanding of both themselves and their athletes. Coaches who are self-aware, have learnt about their own coaching style, communication style, strengths and limitations.
When coaches fully understand their athletes, they know with confidence their athletes’ individual personalities, motivators, preferred communication style, most effective training environments and much more.
With this knowledge, coaches are vastly more effective, with excellent communication and relationships with their athletes. You see improved performances, consistently.