Coaches are a part of every aspect of life, from childhood to professionals, coaches are there to fill a vital role in society. A coach’s personal philosophy influences not only their interaction with their team but also how well the team learns from their leader. It is safe to say that all coaches’ goals are to win; however, winning is far more than just teaching the team how to play the game. Coaches who utilize their role as a teacher, a developer and a leader will have far more success than the coaches who lead by dictation and expectations. In order for a coach to know their philosophy, they have to know who they are. Personally, I believe that it is vital for one to lead by example on and off of the field. If am I willing to take the time to teach others it will show on and off of the field. It is important to consider that I have something to teach and that is extends far beyond the game. As a coach you are a role model and how you act and the importance of personal values will be visible. Coaching in a way in intertwined with some form of learning and teaching. “In this respect, it takes coaching back to its problematic teaching roots, emphasising that many of the dilemmas and complexities inherent within coaching closely mirror those in teaching” (Jones, 2015). I believe that coaches can teach humility, teamwork, and good sportsmanship as much as they can learn the game. I had a coach who was all about the match, never did he teach with honor and integrity. His focus was winning at all cost, and he showed poor sportsmanship on the sideline, and it carried over to all the players on his team. He may have been successful in winning the game, but the players were willing to take shortcuts to increase the numbers on the scoreboard. So in essences one can ask, what did this coach actually teach us?
As a coach who values the importance of teaching, I have made sure that my actions are consistent with my philosophy or it will never work. “It was found that good quality relationships as defined by closeness, commitment and complementarity may inherently contain ingredients (e.g. trust, respect, cooperation) that it serve as task-related and interpersonal-related rules” (Jowett & Carpenter, 2015). Quality coaching as a teacher can be summed up in three valuable points. First, the players have to trust their coach. If the coach is telling his team that goods sportsmanship is just as important as the winning, the team needs to believe that the coach is guiding them in the right way. If a player trusts what their coach is saying, they will do the right thing and know that the outcome of the game will be what they deserve, win or loss. The second point is that the team needs to respect the coach. A coach cannot demand respect; he has to earn it. It a coach is telling the team to play with integrity and sportsmanship, and he is on the sidelines cussing and throwing his clipboard, there is not a lot of respect that the coach can earn. He needs to show his team how to act in all situations. If a team respects their coach, they will take his guidance and practice it in and out of the game.
Third, every coach and athlete have to have a level of cooperation. They have to work together to reach the end, mutual goal. If the coach is teaching his players that they need to work hard and not take any shortcuts, they will collaborate to reach that desired outcome. It will provide a level of support to the athlete to work harder and to ignore any possible shortcuts that may be presented. Coaches have to work with their team and vice versa. Trust, respect, and cooperation is just a few essential ingredients that the coach needs to bring to the table when teaching his athletes about his expectations for them and the game.
I feel that I am a competitive athlete and always want to win, but the focus is not only on how to win the game but the personal characteristics that are shown in the game. “We suggest that to be called a coach, an individual must be in contact with one or more athletes regularly for at least one sporting season with a goal of developing, not only athletes’ competence, but also confidence, connection, and character” (Cote & Gilbert, 2009). There is no way to discredit the importance of character in any athlete. Coaches are vital in filling that role and teaching his team how to be more than just good at the game.
Coaches are critical influences in the lives of his athletes regardless of what age group he is leading. The team is looking to the coach for direction and ultimately as a teacher. The coach has the opportunity and responsibility to teach the athletes the importance of character and value is just as important as how they play the game. I will uphold my philosophy that coaches are teachers, and they need to defend the integrity of themselves to form better athletes. The results will be winning by working hard and not taking shortcuts. TEAMWORK, INTEGRITY, AND WINS!!!!
- Côté, J., & Gilbert, W. (2009). An integrative definition of coaching effectiveness and expertise. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 4(3), 307-323.
- Jones, R. (2006). The sports coach as educator: Reconceptualising sports coaching. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 1(4), 405-412.
- Jowett, Sophia & Paul Carpenter. (2015). The concept of rules in the coach-athlete relationship. Sports Coaching Review, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1–23.