Being a coach requires one to carry out this role based on acquired experience, both theoretical and practical knowledge, moral values, long-formed opinions and reasonable beliefs. Taking proper notice and paying due respect to all the above mentioned criterion are the philosophy itself, and the success of its performance is measured by how well one knows his or her strong and weak points and understands what are the core values and coaching methods.
Athletic coaching philosophy is oriented towards guiding and navigating one’s ward through the area or the field the coach is much more experienced and acquainted with. Both the coach and its athlete have to be committed to a mutually beneficial cooperation. I believe, that three fundamental components of presenting a consistent and positive message to the athletes and granting him superior results are the following:
1) Analyzing and defining yourself; striving to improve and perfect the strong points as well as acknowledge weak points and work on their development;
2) Respecting the opponent and being ready for the possible obstacles, working through the way of preventing and overcoming them;
3) Understanding your athletes, their personalities, motivations, skills and goals, trusting them and doing everything possible to gain and not betray their trust.
Addressing the first main component, I would like to emphasize the importance of an honest assessment that it takes to admit having weaknesses and not let them interfere with good coaching performance. Focusing on the strengths enables us to identify most well-turned ways to utilize those strengths for the sake of the athlete, who is taking an example from his superior. It is vitally important to use your strengths to your advantage.
Self-knowledge leads to self-confidence and defines the quality of material you actually deliver as a coach and what objectives you are trying to accomplish. A good understanding of the age, training level and gender of your athletes is important, as well. The level of incorporating certain aspects such as nutrition education, sport psychology, advanced technique analysis defines the level of the trainee’s preparation and qualification. According to the second component, however, the coach should never underestimate his opponent and orient his ward for playing on his strong sides rather than on his opponent’s weak sides. Being prepared to face certain issues which may hold back the athlete’s progress, such as school pressures, parental interference, various outside activities, and performance standards to qualify for teams and competitions will also help to incorporate those that are good practices. It will also minimize negative obstacles that may have a negative impact directly on you, an athlete on your team or your team in general. The third component is probably the most important one, I think. A coach has to keep in mind that a strong bond between coach and his ward leads to higher levels of commitment and athletic performance. Being one’s role model is a huge responsibility and making one their role model is a very important step, as well.
Coaching is all about assisting athletes in achieving their dreams. The positive coach following a well thought-out coaching philosophy will significantly contribute to the successful performance and fast progress of the athletes. With that being said, I can conclude that a thorough development of a coaching philosophy is necessary for all coaches.