Sports Coaching as a Trainer's Leadership Technique

Sports coaching focuses on developing and improving all of the abilities, talents, and skills of an athlete with regard to their sport. The trainer seeks to work directly on motivation, discipline, and commitment.
Sports Coaching as a Trainer's Leadership Technique

Last update: 09 October, 2019

In today’s sports climate, it’s becoming more necessary for sports trainers to acquire new training methods and techniques. Only the best techniques can reach the goal of giving their athletes the most effective training. This is where sports coaching springs from.

The word “coaching” is similar in meaning to “training.” Specifically, sports coaching is a set of methods and strategies to train a person or group of people in a specific area.

Attitude and mentality

There’s no single point in history where someone “invented” sports coaching. Nevertheless, many experts believe that Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi started it in the 60s. During that time, he would express the idea that attitude and mentality were essential for a winning team.

A woman receiving sports coaching doing push ups.

From that point on, sports coaching began to develop. It involved set factors that people didn’t give much attention to before that. Specifically, sports coaching seeks a balance between physical and mental development. A coach has the responsibility to eliminate barriers that keep the athlete from reaching their maximum potential.

Fundamental principles of sports coaching

As time went on, new trainers started to perfect sports coaching. People also started to take it seriously as a type of coaching (there are other types of coaching, too, such as business, executive, cognitive, personal, and others). This technique then became a process that people had to study in order to put into practice.

As such, we can list a series of essential principles for the correct execution of sports coaching:

  • The trainer should be all ears. In other words, they should always take the questions and opinions of the team they’re training into account.
  • They should always have their eye on the goal. Besides just aiming to reach the team’s goals, they should also help each member grow as a person. To this end, a good coach will create an environment that takes values, objectives, learning, and other aspects into consideration.
  • The trainer mustn’t just order athletes around. They should direct and guide them.
  • A good trainer will prepare their athletes by letting them know about the possible difficulties they’ll encounter during their training.

The psychological factor of sports coaching

One of the aspects that define sports coaching is the psychological factor. Trainers of the past only focused on the physical training of their athletes. However, when you ignore the psychological angle, it can lead to athletes suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression.

Sports coaching works to develop a person based on their complete needs. That is to say, a trainer should take the athlete’s needs as an individual into account with regard to the sport. That way, they can build a mentally healthy training program.

A couple running in the city.

Leading doesn’t mean giving orders

A leader is a person who works with the team in order to reach objectives. They give the team members values to work by and motivate them to become better day by day. That’s why sports coaching is the best leadership tool that a trainer can make use of.

That being said, you can consider coaching to also be a general leadership technique. And it’s a very effective one at that. That’s because the foundations of sports coaching are the elements that motivate athletes to give their best physically and mentally.

Sometimes there are trainers who let themselves get carried away in their authority among team members. They believe they have the right to make decisions for other people and even create communication barriers. This type of trainer fits the description of a boss, not a leader.

That’s why many coaches prefer to use the sports coaching method. Not only does it provide better results, but it helps athletes develop more within their sport. Besides, environment and the relationship between trainer and athlete is more flexible and leads to stronger bonds.

All of this makes sports coaching a leadership method that can successfully achieve growth in sports. At the same time, it motivates athletes to be able to reach extraordinary levels of performance. This is true not only for sports, but for their personal, work, and social lives.

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