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Coaching Skills




·         Knowing how to communicate with athletes.

·         Understanding how athletes learn, and having a grasp of basic training principles.

·         Understanding the physical and motor-skill limitation of young athletes.

·         Being aware of all aspects of safety, and teaching athletes about safe practice.

·         Knowing how to reduce the risk of injury.

·         Developing training schedules that meet the needs of each athlete.

·         Helping athletes in the development of new skills.

·         Evaluating athletes to monitor progress.

·         Advising athletes on diet and nutrition.

·         Knowing hoe to develop the basic energy systems.

·         Helping athletes with relaxation and imagery skills.

·         Advising athletes on the legal and illegal supplements.

·         Continually evaluating the coach-athlete relationship.



Strategy:  when plans formed in advance and perform in competition, they are often known as strategy.


Tactics:  when a competitor comes up with a competitive plan during the heat of an athletic contest, such plans are usually referred to as tactics.


Coaches can bring a number of resources into play in order to help their athletes.  These can include:


·         Adapting experience of similar competitive situations from the past to the race, game, match, or so on at hand.

·         Understanding the strengths of a team or individual athlete, and designing a “game plan” to maximize those strengths.

·         Encouraging athletes to try new approaches to competitive situations when staleness or frustration has set in with the “same old ways”.

·         Encouraging defeated athletes to react gracefully, and victorious competitors to accept victory appropriately.



The following is a list of some of the questions that can be asked when athlete is looking for a coach:


·         What background experiences have led you to become a coach?

·         How long have you been a coach?  What did you do before that? Did you ever compete in this sport?

·         What do you expect from me as an athlete?  Are there any financial expectations attached to our relationship?

·         How much input will I have in my daily/weekly/monthly training and competition schedules?

·         Can you tell me of any “success stories” in which an athlete you coached had a similar background to mine?  What about not-so-successful instances?

·         What if things do not work out between us? How have you terminated relationships with athletes in the past?

·         What are you hoping to gain form our relationship?







Monitor Coaches

                Most sport leagues, regardless of their level, have a set of policies in place for monitoring the behaviour of their coaches.  All coaches are expected to obey community laws and policies regarding issues such as harassment, verbal and sexual abuse , and safety .  Leagues also have policies in place for warning , disciplining and even dismissing coaches who fail to obey.  Coaches at all levels of Canadian sport obey in a highly competent way with all the rules and regulation governing their behaviour and relations with athletes.




Coaching Opportunities

                Essentially, anyone who has a basic knowledge of sport and a desire to work with athletes can find some opportunity to coach in Canada.  Coaches volunteer their time and energy simply for the love of their chosen sport.  As well, in many communities , coaches act as sport organizers, often establishing clubs and even entire leagues that did not exist previously, especially in the so-called  “minor sports.”   Many communities have also adopted programs in which high-school, college, and university students can earn academic credits by coaching youth sports. 

                Canadian coaches who move through the ranks of the NCCP will find that their opportunities for coaching increase along with their experience and knowledge.  Canadian sport association require coaches to have attained a minimum of Level 4 certification before they can qualify as national or international coaches, and the same is true of most professional sports leagues.  Many successful coaches at the youth and high-school level have found success within the university sports system in Canada.



This section on coaching ends the unit on motor learning and skills development, in which we have examined a wide range of topics  related to the enhancement of athletic performance and physical activity in general.