According to legendary American football coach Mike Singletary, players respond to coaches who really have their best interests at heart. Singletary also tells us that coaching is more than planning or passing on knowledge to players. It also means creating a good learning environment and coaching style conducive for learning.
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While taking to heart passion, coaches can adopt four coaching styles depending on a given situation. An autocratic style by “tells” or “sells,” a democratic one “shares” and “allows” players to act based on their own judgement:
Telling: Using this style, the coach is the sole decision-maker. The coach tells the team what to do and how to do it.
Selling: When selling, the coach informs athletes of their exercises and agenda. He decides on what is to be done and he also explains what is required and the objectives of the training. But unlike in telling, this approach encourages the participation of athletes, allowing them to ask questions to clarify any points.
Sharing: Unlike telling and selling, sharing invites ideas and suggestions from the players. Decisions are made based on team consensus.
Allowing: A more laidback approach, allowing requires the coach to outline the training requirements to the athletes and define the training conditions. To better meet their goals, this approach allows players to explore possible solutions and make the final decision for the team.
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Apart from these coaching styles, coaches also need to develop a good relationship with their athletes. No matter how brightly a coach’s ambition burns, player safety, happiness, and welfare should be priority.