Coaching: The Basics
There are many reasons why people get involved in coaching a community sport. Here are a few:
- as parents we want to spend time with our child in an active way;
- as individuals we want to volunteer and get involved in our community;
- as teachers we have taken on extra-curricular school activities;
- as athletes we want to pursue our passion in a different direction and give back to our community;
- as fans we simply love sport and want to give coaching a try.
But what does a coach do?
A community coach strives to do the following:
- encourage young athletes to be active and to have fun;
- plan purposeful practices and create engaging activities;
- lead their participants in developing gross motor skills;
- help participants identify how to improve their performance by providing constructive criticism and advice;
- manage problems by making ethical and respectful decisions
- enable safe participation by creating a safe environment
- teach others how to respect themselves, others, and their sport.
In short, when you become a coach, you help others reach higher, both in sport and in life!
What does it take to become a coach?
The simple fact that you’re visiting coach.ca means that you have one of the key ingredients of all coaches – passion!
Here is a list of other skills that are useful to becoming a community coach:
- Enjoy working with children
- Ability to be creative and to improvise
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to work within a team environment
- Ability to lead effectively
- Problem-solving skills
- Critical-thinking skills
Don’t worry if you think you don’t have some of these skills – you’ll find that if you simply go out there and give it a try, you will find that the skills will develop with time and practice.
It’s also not important at first to know every technical aspect of the sport you choose to coach – far more important is the passion and enthusiasm you bring to the role.
So how do I get started?
Many great coaches learned their skills by assisting other coaches – where they could watch, ask questions and learn, and eventually coach a team of their own. Here are some of the many ways to get information and get involved!
- Talk to someone who is already coaching – a friend, a neighbour, your child’s coach. People are always willing to share.
- Sign up to coach with a friend and help each other learn!
- Sign up to assist your son/daughter’s team, or ask their coach for more information;
- Volunteer with a local amateur or community team;
- Take a National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) training workshop
- Take our Get Coaching e-activity to see what you need to do to prepare for your first practice (coming soon)!
- Ask your local club or provincial sport organization for resources (books, videos, guidance)
- Take a leap of faith and just do it!
Ready to learn the basics?
Do you have a practice tomorrow night and have no clue what to do? Don’t worry! Complete this FREE online activity to help you build a practice plan. Let’s Get Coaching (coming soon)!
Every child deserves a certified coach. If you are ready to obtain formal training, you can find out where to begin by visiting Coach Training.
Need some advice on a particular coaching situation? Get expert answers to your coaching questions through Ask a Coach!
Check out a treasure chest full of coaching tips and tools from experts including certified coaches, national sport organizations and sport dietitians in Resources.