Friday, 1 March 2013

Caoch and Athlete Relationship

In class this week we were talking about what a coach should say at particular times in a game to their athlete(s). I believe the biggest thing in understanding what to say to an athlete, is knowing that  athlete.

"Coaching is as much about people as it is about technique and tactics" (Pyke, 2001), I believe this statement to be the essence of coaching. Yes it is important for a coach to understand the technical and tactical aspects of the sport but it is of greater importance for a coach to understand their athlete/s.

The relationship between a coach and athlete is hard to describe. Is it like a brother-sister relationship, a parent-child relationship, a teacher-student relationship, or a romantic relationship? I believe it to be a combination of all of these with trust, respect and understanding being at the core of this. If an athlete feels like they cannot trust their coach are they really going to trust their judgement 110% when it comes to a make or break moment in a competition?

It is often said a coach has many roles, especially when working with developing athletes they  play the role of instructor, authoritiser, friend, first aid officer, parent and confidant and that may be all in one training session!

Developing athletes in a sport such as gymnastics may spend more time with their coach then they do at home with their family, or an athlete having moved out of home for the first time to focus on training may rely on their coach to be a mentor and a friend. It is important for coaches to be aware of this and be prepared to take on this new role.

Someone may have the best technical understanding of a sport but may struggle to communicate with the athlete which will result in both the coach and athlete becoming frustrated with each other and this may put strain on their relationship. If a coach is not prepared to be a mentor to an athlete both on and off the field it may make it very difficult for the two to work together.

Better Coaching - Advanced Coaches Manual, Editor F.Pyke, (2001) pg 3.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, Emma. I enjoyed reading this. I do think communication is the key to a flourishing long-term coach/athlete relationship.

    Frank Pyke was the first head of Sport Studies at UC back in 1981. I wrote about him last year