Water poloCoaching to Make a Difference

June 2, 2022

Participation in sports can be something extremely beneficial to people’s lives. Sports offer skills such as leadership, teamwork, time management, work ethic, recognizing priorities, etc. For those who have grown up playing sports their whole lives, it ends up shaping their personalities as well. Often, it results in people being more competitive, very adaptable, confident, and wanting more out of their lives. When it comes to these athletes, one of the most crucial elements in sports is their coaches. A coach can make or break a sports experience for an athlete. Coaches are much more than people who just teach the game. To many kids, their coaches are their role models, their mentors, and the people they look up to. Coaches are meant to not only teach the game at hand, but to also help athletes realize their strengths, their weaknesses, and what kind of person they want to be. Being a coach is not just a job, it is a lifestyle that has an immense effect on young minds and what kind of people they are going to be. Most coaches do not put in the time or the energy they do for the money. The good coaches are here because they want to make a difference in the lives of these kids and teach them. Coaches are meant to teach, motivate, inspire, and provide an outlet for them to talk.

The major qualities that distinguished a good coach were that they cared about people, they had high standards and ambitions, and they had a high level of self-knowledge. There are also fifteen other attributes top-notch coaches possess:

  1. Exquisite self-awareness.
  2. High emotional intelligence.
  3. Broad vision with a focus on important details.
  4. Nuanced, crisp, superb communication.
  5. Highest regard, caring, and respect for clients.
  6. Creative, innovative learner and developer of custom coaching methodologies.
  7. Perceptive, intuitive, curious, and inquiring.
  8. Quick study with capacity for deep and wide learning.
  9. Student of coaching and other disciplines that support helping others.
  10. Sincere interest in clients and desire to help.
  11. Continuous learners of themselves and their experiences.
  12. See coaching as a two-way interchange of energies and learnings.
  13. Humble, open, nurturing, and grateful to the world.
  14. View coaching as a calling, an art, and a discipline.
  15. Walking the talk and modeling a good life for their clients.

For example, having high emotional intelligence will allow a coach to have better relationships with their athletes. The ability to recognize when an athlete is struggling and having the emotional aptitude to help them through it is crucial to the success of the athlete. Being a coach means also being an outlet for your athletes. As a coach, you are another resource athletes can come to when they are going through a tough time and need help or advice. A coach is not just a coach, they are also role models to their athletes and the people they look up to. A coach who has a high emotional intelligence will allow them to give better advice to athletes and have a good understanding of where the athlete is coming from so beneficial advice and help can be given.

Another attribute of a high-quality coach is communication. The ability of a coach to communicate with their athletes, their parents, other coaches, etc. is important to a comfortable, stable, beneficial environment. A coach without proper communication skills does not benefit an athlete. Lack of communication results in athletes not understanding drills and game plans and takes away the ability for athletes to implement skills in other situations. This will cause an undesirable and frustrating environment, one that no one will want to be a part of. Communication allows everyone to be on the same page creating a more enjoyable environment for everyone.

A coach should also be a creative, innovative leader who develops custom coaching methods. A good coach with leadership skills should not have to force others to respect them. The best way to lead is by example; what someone says and how they act. Doing this makes others want to listen to what you are saying and act according to your example. Custom coaching methods are also important to an athlete’s experience. Providing athletes with a unique experience they won’t get anywhere else makes them more inclined to apply themselves to the task at hand. It also provides a more enjoyable experience for them, looking up to their coach even more than before.

The job of being a coach is not to be taken lightly. It is not something that a person can just go through the motions of. A coach takes a special kind of person. A good coach possesses many attributes that must be constantly worked on. Athletes look up to their coaches and coaches should provide their athletes with someone worthy of being looked up to. A coach does not just teach the game at hand, they coach to make a difference in the lives of their athletes in and out of the sport.

Works Cited
  • Cole, Bill. “Sports Psychology Coaching Articles.” The Top 15 Characteristics Of Excellent Coaches – Winning The Mental Game Of Coaching – by Bill Cole, https://www.sportspsychologycoaching.com/articles/CharacteristicsOfExcellentCoaches.html.
  • Gels, James. “The Importance of a Strong Coach-Athlete Relationship.” NFHS, https://www.nfhs.org/articles/the-importance-of-a-strong-coach-athlete-relationship/.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.




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