Coaching: The Basics

Why Coach?

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.

What are you most looking forward to at the 2018 Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif Conference?