After participating in sessions over previous weeks I got thinking as to what a successful coach is and what an unsuccessful coach is. Some coaches feel that success is based on the trophies, medals and awards that are won however I am one who firmly believes that success is based on the difference you make as a coach. It shouldn’t be about the trophies you win or the awards you get, it should be about developing the players’ skills so that they can become the best they can be. Balyi, (2001) supports my thoughts and states that “The critical, fundamental phase is often overlooked by coaches, teachers and parents, who focus on competition and winning rather than the acquisition of basic skills and fitness”. As a result coaches should focus on the skill development of their players rather than the trophies on offer, these will come in time.
For example if we take the reflective coaching practical session from last week we were given the task of creating small 10/15 minute sessions that work on the topic specified on the sheet. In total there were 5 stations set in various places around the sports hall with each station having a different topic to focus on for their session. The cards included topics such as Court Skills, Invasion Skills, Agility, Balance & Coordination, Target Skills as well as Racket skills too. For me thinking of a session on the spot (by myself) is something I sometimes find rather difficult, therefore it was a challenging task that I believe developed me as a coach and helped me work on my creativity. However because we as coaches were working in small groups, ideas bounced around and in my opinion we created some good quality sessions that focused on the topics specified.
However even though we felt that we created high quality, challenging drills that followed the briefings sometimes others did not. For example: We created a throwing and catching drill using a variety of balls that worked on agility, balance and coordination all at the same time. We believed that this met the topic criteria however like other groups Cliff did not. Consequently we were given advice on how to change the session so that it solely focused on the A, B, C’s. Cliff explained that the drill was too complicated and that there was in fact no need for any equipment. This made me realise how important the fundamentals are in children’s coaching and how simply they can be worked on.
As shown in this fundamentals continuum the basic movement skills form the base therefore without these a player cannot really develop as well as they could do.
(SportsCoachUK, no date)
Therefore to conclude I believe that a successful coach is one who can strip skills right back down to basics so that the players can develop their A, B, C’s right from the beginning. This will then allow them to create and modify their own skills which can be used in the sports which they are involved in. A coach is not just there to set some cones out and have a chat to the parents, they are there to develop the player’s skills and if they can do this then I perceive them to be a successful coach whether they win trophies or not.
Balyi, I. (2001) ‘Sport system building and long-term athlete development in British Columbia’. Canada: Sportsmed BC.
SportsCoachUK (no date) Coaching for FUNdamentals. [Online] Available at: http://www.activegloucestershire.org/Resources/Misc/Coaching%20for%20FUNdamentals.pdf (Accessed: 18 October 2015).