The first sporting event was created almost three thousand years ago. The first Olympic Games took place in 776 B.C. As time passed, more sports were invented, others were modified and some just failed. Now, sports have become the world’s most popular pastime, whether it be playing sports, watching them or participating in the various games that revolve around sports. Almost every aspect of each game has been perfected. The rules, the game style, and the right equipment needed. Every good part of the sports have been refined and every bad part has been weeded out. The one thing that proves to a the center of discussion for all sports is coaching. Before the preseason of a sports starts, a coach needs to be assigned to the team. The question is what is the thought process that is behind the selection of a certain coach. In this day in age where sports have become so wildly popular, are there even enough coaches out there to fill the needed positions. If there are not enough people qualified, then what type of people are filling the positions? This is need to know for every athlete and every parent of an athlete. Who is being put in charge of the growth of athletes? What attributes does a good coach have and which ones do bad coaches have?
At first, many might describe a good coach would be described as one who has an exceptional record. A “good coach” might have a significant amount of wins under their belt and a minuscule amount of losses. A “good coach” is simple defined as someone who has a first-rate win to loss ratio. Is this the only quality, however, that makes a good coach? Is the record the coach holds the most important attribute to that coach? Can this fact even give an individual the status of a good coach? Dr. Alan Goldberg would disagree with that statement. In fact Dr. Goldberg claims that is a coach places too much emphasis on winning, then that in turn, does not earn the title of a “good coach”. This society and atmosphere around sports has made it so that a coach appears to be successful only if the are able to “produce champions”. The true meaning of coaching gets lost in this blind craze to be “winners”. But in all honesty, who is being a “winner” more beneficial for, the player because they have the title of being a “winner” or the coach because they were able to solidify their position as a coach? With blinders on and all people focus on is winning, bad coaches are able to stick around. A “bad coach” is one who places winning above everything. According to former Sports Illustrated reporter, Merlisa Corbett, a bad coach disregards safety and health issues, meaning they pressure athletes to play injured. Obvious attributes to a bad coach also include they are rude and disrespectful to both players and parents. For example singling out a player to continuously criticize or being manipulative. It is possible for a coach to be demeaning towards their players or perhaps push them too hard that it results in injury or a mental break. Coaches like this may continue in their positions because of the personal on their team. They may have the world’s best athlete on their team who wins every game . This does not mean the athlete's coach is good, it means that the coach appears to be a good coach because of the record the team posses due to the players. There are people out there who coach sports they know nothing about which in turn does not help to athlete grow as a player in the sport. There are people out there who get so caught up in the politics of sports that the athletes lose the passion the once drove them to love a sport. This occurs mostly in town recreational sports because the coaches tend to be parents and due this the sport revolves around the coaches child because the coach is trying to live through their kid. The main purpose of a coach is to empower and help the athlete. However, because of the cultural emphasis on winning, this important need seems to get lost sometimes. Now, not all coaches are bad, there are plenty of coaches out there who do right by the athletes. It is not that simple to say a “good coach” is one who wins games, because the coaches who focus so much on the end game and self image forget the importance of the growth of the athletes.
The definition of a coach is the person who “assists athletes in developing to their full potential”(Wood). A coach is not only a coach but they act as a mentor in life, and adviser or counselor or possibly a friend. The main job of a coach is to help an athlete come to enjoy a sport and find a way to indirectly or directly keep that athlete participating in that sport. In addition, a coach is tasked with the development of an athlete as well as a team. A good coach focuses on every individual and analyzes every performance of the players to deduce that particulars athletes strengths and weaknesses. The coach will then play off of every player’s strength in order to make a strong single unit team, in addition to developing the players weak points until they are no longer weak points (The Important). The correct way to do this is through encouragement and not bringing the player down. One possible way to do this is to point a something amazing that the player does, then mention something the player could work on and demonstrate a way to do said thing. It is important for a coach, like a teacher, to establish a positive learning experiences by creating an environment with the right conditions. A coach should try to build a player’s confidence rather than diminish it. They do not ridicule, embarrass or harass players, knowing that it will only do harm to the player. A coach wants the player to believe in themselves, not be down on themselves or second guess their abilities and potential. A good coach can recognize they are dealing with human beings, not just an athlete and take that into consideration. They know everyone is different, everyone has good and bad days and a good coach should be know and expect this and be flexible. A good coach is engaging with the players. They interact with the players and are always switching things up to make sure no one loses interest in the drills. A good coach has as much passion about the sport as the player does. A good coach, overall, has the best interests of the player at heart. They make sure to pay attention of safety/health issues, they are less focused on winning, they make sure the environment is a healthy one for all involved, they can communicate and build bonds with the players, they are there for support and guidance and most of all a good coach is a positive and genuine people (SPECIAL).
There are good coaches out there and there are bad coaches out there. It is very possible to distinguish between the two and every athlete knows what degree of coaching they are receiving. I myself have grown up around sports. I’ve been traveling from sporting game to sporting games since before I was able to walk. I grew up watching sports, then progressed to playing and finally I have been a coach myself for several years. My father coached for numerous years and took several classes on coaching and my sister has got certified to coach youth soccer. I have seen coaching done in various sports. I have come across good coaches and I have had my share of bad coaches. As an athlete, coach and someone who grew up around coaching, I know what works and what does not. I had a coach who I thought was the best to be had. She was high spirited, engaging supportive and truly had the well-being of her players in mind. I have had coaches who have made playing the sport I grew playing, the sport I love, unbearable, which as an athlete, is the worst feeling. I have been from one end of the spectrum where I would go as far as wanting to make a career out the playing sports to the other end where I would want to drop the sport and just quit. That outlook I had was influenced by the coach I had at that time. One cannot say that all coaches are good coaches nor can one say that all of them are bad. Some coaches just have different agendas. Some looks for better their own appearance and only have winning on their while others take into considerations the players they are dealing with and put the players above everything else. It also depends on the player. The player could want to be on a team where all they is win or they could really want to develop their skills and the outcome of the game is not necessarily the most important part. It is a matter of preferences but one cannot disagree with the fact that there are distinct characteristics that make a good coach and one that makes a bad one. Regardless, coaching is an important job due to simple fact that a coach is developing character in kids.
"The Importance of Coaches & Coaching." TrueSport. U.S Anti-Doping Agency, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
Corbett, Merlissa Lawrence. "8 Warning Signs Your Kid Has a Bad Coach."Youthletic. Youthletic, n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.
Wood, Robert. "The Role of the Sports Coach." The Role of the Coach in Sports. Topend Sports, 2010. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.
Goldberg, Alan. ""Coaching ABUSE: The Dirty, Not-so-little Secret in Sports""Competitive Advantage: Mental Toughness. Competitive Advantage, 31 Aug. 2007. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.
Goldberg, Alan. "SPECIAL: What Makes a GOOD COACH?" Competitive Advantage: Mental Toughness. Competitive Advantage, 01 July 2006. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.