How To Be a Better Coach
Want to know how to be a better coach? In this post, we discuss seven different ways to achieve this.
The seven strategies on how to be a better coach discussed are:
- Seek advice from other coaches
- Read books on leadership
- Self Awareness
- Seek External Feedback
- Top up on your subject/coaching knowledge
- View/listen to some leadership talks (Not just in sport)
- Complete a leadership course
Here at Leadership and Sport, our aim is to make you a better coach. Why not also check out our most popular articles on the different leadership styles coaches can use and our article on the different methods of training.
Visit our Sport Coaching Centre for more articles on sports Leadership
Seek Advice from Other Coaches
The first strategy in learning how to be a better coach is to learn from others. There is a famous quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself”. By listening to other coaches on what they have done to achieve success and their advice on how to improve is important. You do not necessarily have to follow the advice. Yet, you can learn whether you want to or don’t want to take it.
A sports coach who has been coaching for years will have learnt what to do and what not to do when coaching. Here at Leadershipandsport.com, we have created our meet the coach series to do just that. We have interviewed successful and professional sports coaches on what strategies they use to be successful coaches and to hear what advice they would give to other coaches. You can read one of our interviews with the Director of Coaching Education for United Soccer Coaches here.
Read Books on Leadership
Books are a great way to start in learning how to be a better coach. Whether it is learning from a role model (Alex Ferguson has a great Autobiography which you can view here) or more sport specific. Our article on our best sports coaching books demonstrates how specific and detailed sports coaching books can go (from tactics to player development).
Our recommended books on sports leadership would be:
When I first started to study leadership for my career, I began to learn how important self-awareness is. By understanding yourself, a leader is aware of their strengths and areas for development.
Our article on what makes a good sports coach, discusses how and why coaches become more self-aware (you can read this article here). Jurgen Kloop is a good example of a sports manager who is self-aware and often reflects on this.
The first step would be to begin with working out what your strengths and areas for development are and then agreeing what actions you can do to develop these further. The other six strategies in this article should help you in deciding what actions to take.
Seek External Feedback
This is very similar to the first strategy (Seek advice from other coaches). However, external feedback is receiving specific feedback about yourself. It may be in terms of a compliment or a comment from the players you are developing. Alternatively, it could be a negative comment. How often are you asking for advice on an issue such as your training programme or which coaching practice you should put in next weeks training session? Begin to seek this advice. Similar to above, leaders do not necessarily have to follow the advice given from others. Yet, it can be a good place to start.
Top Up on Your Subject/Coaching knowledge
One strategy on how to become a better coach could be to improve your subject knowledge. By learning more of the subject, you are become even more of an expert within it. Therefore, putting you in a better position to make decisions and develop your team.
An example of this could be to learn more advanced practices and drills to include in your training sessions. Another example is that it could be learning more about tactics or brushing up on the latest trends.
View/Attend a Leadership Talk
There are a number of free leadership talks available online to help you learn how to be a better coach. One of the main leadership platforms are TED talks. Whilst these may not be specific to sport, a number of them provide thought provoking ideas and inspiring achievements. An easy win to increase your motivation. You can visit TED Leadership Talks here.
Alternatively, why not attend one of the talks from the sports professionals in your field.
Complete a leadership course
The last strategy on how to be a better coach is to attend a leadership course. Most national governing bodies provide leadership courses that are specific to their sport and it is highly likely that there will be leadership courses available near you.
If you are unable to find a sport specific course, leadership is a transferable skill that can be used in business, management and sport. We would recommend these leadership books if you are unable to find a course suitable for you:
Want more on how you can be a better coach?
The seven steps above are our strategies on how to be a better coach. If you have any other strategies or advice, let us know in the comment section below.
You may also want to check out our other articles that may interest you: