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What makes a good coach?

If you are thinking of giving coaching a try then here are a few things worth considering.

Remember - keep it varied and fun to meet the needs of the child.

We're not all born Sven-Goran Erikssons or Clive Woodwards but even they had to start somewhere too.

  • Know yourself
    Why do you want to coach and what do you want to achieve?

  • A question of sport
    The better your understanding of the techniques and skills of a sport the better equipped you are to pass these on.

  • Be Positive
    Patience and praise work a lot better than criticism and shouting.

  • Variety is the key
    Avoid games where kids have to sit out and don't make all your sessions competitive

  • Teach skills and demonstrate
    Demonstrating a skill works much better than talking about it. If you can't do it, find someone who can.

  • Involve everybody
    Always make sure there's enough equipment or kit for all. Create small groups of children rather than one big group.

  • Communicate well
    Actions speak louder than words. Body language is important. Smiles and positive gestures work wonders.

  • Mind and body
    A grasp of how the body responds to exercise and training and an ability to adopt safe practices and prevent injury are important.

    So too is confidence building, goal setting, emotional control, concentration skills - coaches work on the mindset as well as the body.

  • Sense and sensitivity
    Some children take longer than others to learn so adopt your style accordingly.

    To keep children motivated it helps to be consistent, set achievable goals and give frequent feedback.

  • Take it from the top
    Lead by example and gain trust and respect. Coaches of children are role models and this carries responsibility.

    How you behave, dress and your attitude all set an example. If you adhere to consistent high standards this will rub off.


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  • The best thing about sport for kids? Participation in a structured activity outside the school environment - and it encourages teamwork.
    - A Squibb, rowing coach

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