The Art of Coaching Athletes
Coaching Athletes is an art and far more than just teaching technique!
To ensure the best for your athlete, and also for yourself as their coach, you need to build a strong relationship and rapport with them based on respect. A professional approach and showing respect to and passion for their development and progress will assist with their motivation to maximise their effort and strive to be the best they can be at each and every training session.
A huge amount of effort and commitment is required from everyone involved in an athlete’s training program – not just from the athlete but from the coach, family, parents when it is child and other support crew like sponsors as well as external health and fitness professionals who may be involved.
Without this commitment and effort from all involved, it is highly unlikely that the athlete will reach their potential and a training program will reap maximum results and the desired outcomes.
A holistic approach should always be the preferred option where several components are included in a training program and training schedule.
- Technique and technical training
- Physical training including
- Fitness and strength training
- Flexibility training
- Mental and psychological training
- Sport specific knowledge and theory
A comprehensive training program must be developed in a way that provides progression and development in a sustainable, realistic and achievable manner. It needs to take into account aims, goals, the level of the athlete, the available time the athlete can devote to training and other commitments outside of the sport and training plus a myriad of other factors.
To devote this time and energy to this, the coach must know there is the commitment, motivation and drive there from the athlete to warrant this dedication.
To understand the methods of instructing and coaching, it is vital that the professional holds professional qualifications. For surfing, these are from the National Governing Bodies or International Governing Body of Surfing, Surfing Australia or throughout the rest of the world, the International Surfing Association. For information on these programs and for some dates on upcoming courses, you can check out International Surfing Development or either of the links above.
The initial level of teaching surfing is the Level 1 Surf Instructor qualification which is specifically focused on instructing entry level, beginners and early intermediate surfers. The next step is the Level 2 Surf Instructor qualification which is for coaching better athletes from intermediate surfers and beyond, including competitors.
A professional coach should always coach in a professional manner and understand that, especially when it comes to younger athletes, they can become a very important role model and mentor for the athlete. The coach can have a massive impact on each and every athlete, not only as an athlete in their chosen sport but in life and in moulding the athlete as a person for the future.
It is a hugely satisfying role and opportunity to be able to make a positive difference and improvement in peoples lives!