How to Become a Better Athletic Coach


How does a coach react when the ball is tossed in the air, pitched, served, or kicked, and the game begins? Racing heartbeats, pounding legs, and tense muscles. You’re a coach who is so focused on the game that you can barely hear your voice above the sounds of players clashing in competition.

That intensity is what makes coaching fun. But there’s another side to it: When you get caught up in the moment, sometimes you forget essential things about being an effective leader for your team. It happens to all coaches at times – even those with decades of experience under their belt.

You can’t eliminate every coaching mistake, but they shouldn’t sink your ship or embarrass yourself or others when they do happen, especially if you could have avoided them with better preparedness.

Education – Useful in Every Field:

It may come as news that becoming a sports coach takes years of relevant education! Yep, you heard us! Many colleges and universities now offer sports coaching courses as part of their curriculum. You could also look into specialized coaching clinics which will give you the latest techniques to help improve your team’s performance.

If you are eager to learn how to be a coach the entire teams love, you’ll need to hone some skills. With a Sport Administration Master’s Program, you can gain the necessary skill set to coach at any level.

The Coach Just Scored:

To become an effective coach, it is critical to recognize and understand that coaches are, in fact, educators. They must teach the sports skills and tactics at the developmental stage of each player they coach. A good coach identifies problems, determines the best solutions, and teaches solutions to their players.

Speak to be Heard:

What’s the point of you sharing your best tips if only half the team is listening? If you don’t have your players’ attention, how will they implement your advice?

Find out what works for each team member. Remember that some players need videos, some prefer pictures and others like written instructions. Some may even need a combination of all three! It will help the player understand better, showing them that you care about their learning style. In addition, make sure to speak clearly at a consistent volume so everyone can follow along easily.

Remember What You Are: A Coach – Not Their Boss or Parent:

Coaches often try too hard to control everything in practice sessions and games when they should be letting go just a little more; after all, they are there to coach, not control. If a player does something wrong or fails to meet your expectations, let them know what they did and where they went astray but don’t nag them about it! Players respond better when coaches can give constructive feedback without roasting them.

Putting Athletes in a Box:

When you’re coaching, try not to put players into a box. There are times when there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for everyone on your team or in any given situation, so be flexible with how you deal with various circumstances rather than expecting them all to turn out alike every time.

Remember that each person has their strengths and weaknesses – don’t expect perfection from others; instead, aim for excellence! Be open-minded about what works best within specific contexts (i.e., if playing defense requires more stamina, it would perhaps make sense to play offense first during practice sessions).

Remember That Not Everyone Will Be Happy:

As a coach, you will inevitably make decisions that upset some players. It’s important to remember that not everyone is going to be happy with every decision you make, no matter how justified or logical it may seem to you. As long as you can explain your rationale and stand by your choices, the disgruntled minority of players won’t be able to do too much harm.

Be Good With Timings:

In sports, timing is crucial, and this is particularly true when it comes to coaching. This principle is demonstrated by having one of your athletes get caught off guard by a serve or spike with no warning beforehand (as opposed). Some coaches may need to tell their players everything they want them to do before it happens, but this can be counterproductive if done too often.

A good coach understands when his team requires inspiration from him and when they should just let things develop without his input or the intervention of other staff members.

Being able to read your athletes and determine when they need a boost or when they require some breathing room is one of the most crucial features of coaching. It also goes back to timing; knowing when to give feedback and corrections is essential to help improve your players’ skills.

Boundaries Matter Out of Field Too:

Giving athletes space is essential, but it’s also important to set boundaries for acting as a coach outside of your sport. There are times when coaches cross the line and start behaving in unethical or immoral ways.

It might be difficult to maintain a professional distance from your players away from the field, but it’s necessary if you want to stay on the right side of things. Remember, just because you have power over someone in a sports setting doesn’t mean you control them in other aspects of their lives.

Keep Learning to Lead by Example:

It is essential to get the point across that learning never stops! As a coach, you should always look for ways to improve your coaching style and run practices. The more knowledge you gain about how best to lead by example, the better off everyone.

Make certain that all of your players are aware of their responsibilities before each practice session, so there are no disturbing surprises when it’s time to hit the field or court with their teammates! Keep these tips in mind as well:

  • Make sure your team is aware of its current position on issues like drinking alcohol at parties after games (or even before!)
  • Draw a line for social media use during game day festivities etc.

These things can hurt performance if they get out of hand! If possible, try not to talk negatively about anyone on your team – or any other teams for that matter – in front of them; it will only breed resentment.


It is important to remember that you are the coach, and the players need to play. You don’t want your team to look like a bunch of cheerleaders on the field or court. As an effective coach, you will know when it’s time for your input and not. You must understand how much control they need during games to perform at their best levels consistently. Score another point for team morale and on-field success!