COACHES CORNER: COACHES CORNER: The attributes of becoming a great coach

A memorable quote from an unknown source goes like this, “A year or two from now your players will not remember anything you taught them. But forever, they will remember how you made them feel.”

This quote is precious. In it there is much directional wisdom for hockey coaches. The purpose of this article is highlight important coaching attributes/skills that align to this quote. The hockey off season is a much needed break for hockey coaches but also it should be a time of great reflection to ensure you keep striving to grow as a coach and prepare for the new season.  The question posed is what are the attributes of great coaches and how do I compare to these? In my findings what can I do to improve should that be my growth mindset goal?

Jack Perconte was a player come USA Major League baseball coach. His 27 years coaching experience is nothing to shun at. The following attributes/skills are identified as being those of great coaches according to Perconte. Of course there are many more but for this purpose take a ‘stocktake’ of them and conduct a self-reflection.

Great sport coaches:

  1. Commit to help every player on the team equally, not just their own child or the better players.
  2. Have a good background in the sport or obtain sufficient knowledge of the sport to help players of that particular age level.
  3. Are aware of the safety issues involved in the sport and always put the emotional and physical health of the players first.
  4. Explain their coaching philosophy at the beginning of the season and remain true to the stated philosophy.
  5. Have teams and individuals that are better players and people at the end of the season than at the beginning. This can be done by following these points which promote being a positive role model. Kids learn by observing adult’s behaviour.
  6. Encourage and teach the fundamentals and strategy of sport with understanding and patience. Recognize the difference between effort and results and the difference between physical and mental mistakes.
  7. Remain enthusiastic about the sport and coaching, and display this enthusiasm to players in good times and bad.
  8. Do not ridicule individuals or team with negative words or gestures.
  9. Demonstrate sportsmanship, fairness and leadership at all times and teach those attributes to players through words and example.
  10. Always keep the lines of communication open among players, coaches and parents.

The off-season is a great time to study the work of great sporting coaches. Go Hockey News recommends this reading.

‘Secrets of Winning Coaches’ This book provides great insight into the attributes and thoughts of successful elite coaches. Some of the coaches featured include: Wayne Bennett (rugby league), Norma Plummer (netball), Lindsay Gaze (basketball), Frank Farina (soccer) Ric Charlesworth (hockey), Rod Macqueen (rugby union), Ron Barassi (AFL), Laurie Lawrence (swimming) and many more.  Click on the below banner.

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