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Coaching Styles



There are five distinct types of coaching styles, each with it’s own characteristics:



·        Emphasizes discipline in practice and competition .

·        Well organized in all aspects.

·        Teams are characterized by good team spirit when winning, but by dissension when losing.

·        May be feared or disliked by some athletes.




·        Adopts a logical, “professional” approach to training and competition.

·        Plans and organizes practices and competitions thoroughly.

·        Remains current on new technologies.

·        Expects top effort from athletes, at all times.

·        May set goals too high for some team members.



“Nice Guy/Gal”

·        Is usually well liked by athletes.

·        Players may take advantage of his or her co-operative nature.

·        Works particularly well with athletes of similar temperament; may alienate those with more intense personalities.




·        Emphasizes winning above all.

·        His or her high anxiety often translated to players.

·        May alienate easy-going athletes.




·        “Casual” approach to training and competition.

·        Often gives impression of not taking sport seriously .

·        May not be prepared to “push” athletes in training.

·        Usually well liked by athletes but some may find his or her approach not serious enough.






Autocratic Coach:  This type of coaching style can further be broken down into two sub-categories - “telling” and “selling”.   the autocratic-telling coach is content simply to instruct his or her athletes, defining the rules and parameters of a given activity and seeking no input from athlete at all.  The autocratic-selling coach will provide an explanation of what the athlete should do,  but then will encourage questions and feedback  regarding the correct execution of the activity.  Ultimately, though, the final decisions rest with coach.


Democratic Coach:  It takes a different approach, encouraging his or her athlete to be fully involved in the decisions being made about training and competition.  The democratic style could also be broken down into two subgroups, “sharing” and “allowing”.  The democratic-sharing typically begins by making suggestions about training or competition, then follows up by seeking input from athletes.



National Coaching Certificate Program (NCCP):   In Canada, the coaching association offers the National Coaching Certificate Program (NCCP), a series of instructional courses for coaches.  The NCCP instructs sport coaches in the basics of coaching and progresses all the way to advanced coaching theory and technique, and recognizes coaching competence by awarding certificates at various levels.


The NCCP has developed five key principles that are key to the fair-play philosophy:

·        Respecting the rules of the games.

·        Respecting officials and accepting their decisions.

·        Respecting the opponent.

·        Providing all participants with equal opportunities.

·        Maintaining dignity under all circumstances.


 The NCCP instruction is delivered to coaches at five levels.  Levels 1,2, and 3 are geared towards coaches at the community, regional, and provincial sport levels, such as those who work with community, school, or club-level athletes, and teach participants the fundamentals of coaching.


At these first three levels, coaches must complete three distinct components for each level:

·        Theory:  These courses cover the basic principles of coaching, including  planning, sport safety, skill analysis and development, mental preparation, training methodology, and leadership.

·        Technical:  The courses present sport-specific information on skills and drills, rules of play, equipment, training methods, and preparation for competition.

·        Practical:  This component provides instruction on the actual “hands-on” aspect of coaching , providing coaches with input on how effective they are at working with athletes.




What is the essential role of a coach?


·        Keeping it positive:  A coach should know the best way to motivate young people is by encouraging them when they do something that is viewed as positive within a given situation.  Conversely, punishing or scolding a young athlete for actions considered undesirable is suspect.

·        Self-esteem:  Coaches, however, can work to build this self-esteem by  finding something to praise in every athlete’s efforts.

·        The team-based approach:  Team sports provide a context in which it is easier for a coach to promote the concepts of teamwork and co-operation.

·        Balance:  Coaches can help athletes to feel comfortable and not fell pressure from other sources, such as media, family, and friends, to overemphasize success at sports.

·        Participation:  Drills are suppose to include every single athlete instead of performed by handful of athletes while the remainder simply standing around, waiting for their turn.

·        Staleness and burnout:  Athlete will complain of the burnout that comes from doing the same practice drills again and again.  The wise coach will build some flexibility into his or her approach when preparing a training and/or competition plan for an upcoming season.

·        Coaching personality and style:  Every coach should develop a style that best fits his or her personality and general approach to life.  Many of the best coaches at all levels of sport are soft-spoken and introspective.

·        Working with parental:  Anything coaches can do to keep the lines of communication open between the coach, athletes, and their parents or caregivers in the right direction.