Unit 16- Sports coaching

Unit 16.1- Roles, responsibility and skills

1.1 Roles


It is important that a althete and a coach get along because they may spend considerable amounts of time together. Athletes who are at pro level are more likely to spend more time with their coach than a athlete who is at amateur level because professional level is harder. This means pro athletes need more time with their coaches than a amateur athlete. Spending time together will allow the coach to learn more about the althete's personality and what they don't enjoy. For instance some althete's may enjoy aerobic endurance training on a treadmill than to running miles outside. Increased understanding of this will-will allow the coach to develop effective training plans which will make sports performance better. For example Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a good relationship with Mourhino, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic plays for Mourhino his sports performance is usually well and good. On the other hand, Mourhino's relationship with Juan Mata was not good. Mata's performances eventually started to drop which lead him to be sold. Another benefit for coaches making friends with an athlete is they know how to motivate and criticise them. For example some athletes will like to be shouted at and some will like to be talked to in a calm voice. Being a friend with a athlete will allow the coach to know what is best for the athlete. A elite tennis coach will more likely be friends with a athlete they are working with than to a tennis school teacher-teaching tennis to a student. The reason is the elite coach is likely to meet the athlete everyday which means a bond will happen more quickly. On the other hand, the school teacher will most likely only see the student once a week which means a friendship happening will be harder to happen.


The manager is the person who coaches the team or individual player. They also prepare the equipment and organise transport to venues. The manager's role is basically to lead. Managers in elite level will have less work to do than to managers who work at amateur level. For example Jürgen Kloop will have people who are specialists at areas, for instance a nutritionists specialist and a tactic specialist. This leaves Kloop with less work to do, on the other hand a Sunday League manager will not have those people around leading him to advise the team at different areas himself. A manager also needs to motivate the team, learn from mistakes and gain respect. A manager with those traits will make players want to work with the manager. Another example is Carlo Ancelotti, he has gained respect during the years so players will try their best when they play under him, however a coach who has just done his FA Level 2 coaching badge will not get the same respect and the players playing under him will not try their hardest. Manager's leadership style will depend on the athletes they are managing. Managers who are working with amateur athletes will need to say more and guide them more than to a manager who manages pro athletes. The reason is amateur athletes need support because they do not have complete knowledge of the sport yet.


Coaches who take up a role as a trainer should know the physical, technical and tactical demands of the sport they are training. The reason is if they know what the athlete goes through they know how to train them effectively and they also know what to train to get them around tactics which may go against them in the sport. For example in boxing the trainer should know to train speed and power which is essential in boxing. Trainers also need to have a good knowledge of health and fitness principles. Knowing these principles will lead to less occasions of a athlete over training which may cause injuries. When planning fitness sessions the trainer should consider: age, ability, interests, experience. This is important because different ages are only able to handle certain things, ability will know how to train, interests will know what to include in training. A premier league manger such as Arsène Wenger will likely only focus on tactical training. The reason is he wants his players to play, how he wants them to play. Wenger will most likely have professionals who have a better understanding of physical and technical training. Another reason why Wenger will put his effort in tactical training. However a elite tennis trainer will be looking at all segments of improvement (physical, technical and tactical). The trainer only has one person to focus on giving the trainer time to look at all aspects of the athlete's game. One contrast between a elite football trainer and a elite tennis trainer is that they will both have range of styles to deal with athletes. Every athlete, sportsman is different and not everyone can be taught the same. The elite tennis trainer and the elite football trainer will be aware and will have those credentials.

Role Model

When a coach is leading a sport the coach is representing the sport they are in. The coach should be an example to the trainers they are training. Athletes look up to their coach so whatever they do the athletes under them usually follows. Examples for being a effective role model are: demonstrating good behaviour, using suitable languge around athletes, wearing suitable clothing and being enthusiastic. Demonstrating good behaviour is being a effective role model because athletes look up to their coach. If their coach is behaving in a good manor so will the athletes. For example if a elite basketball coach is calm and does not get angry with decisions. His players will likely do the same thing because if they do the opposite they are going against the coaches principles. It also ties up with suitable language if the coach starts using swear words so will his players as the players feel it is okay to use that language. For example if a foul happens and the coach swears, if a another foul came the players will also swear. Coaches who wear suitable clothing at different situations set an example to his players. The reason is as previously stated athletes look up to their coach. If a coach starts to come shirtless in training the players will think it is okay and will do the same. That is setting a bad example for his players. Instead of wearing the kit of their club they play for they are showing of their body. If a coach is being enthusiastic the coach is being a good role model. The reason is the players playing under him will be more into the game and have more energy. For example in football if the coach is constantly clapping and shouting out instructions his players will be enthusiastic leading them harder to beat due to the extra work they are doing. A football coach will be enthusiastic and will shout and clap to get his point across, this method usually works as it get players to run more and work harder. In comparison to a tennis coach who has to be silent during a tennis match where a rally is being played. The football coach and tennis coach do have similarities too. They will both be a role model by wearing appropriate clothing at different situations and will use appropriate language when they are around their athletes.

1.2 Responsibilities

Professional Conduct

A coach should always behave correctly. As a coach your conduct and behaviour will determine how your players will play or act towards you. A good coach should: speak clearly using appropriate language. This is important because when instructions is said the athlete clearly knows what is said and can apply it in his game. It can also lead to less arguments as the players clearly knows what to do then to guess what the coach said. For example if Van Gaal said play it forward but did not say it clearly and the player played it backwards. It can cause a argument so speaking clearly is important. Using appropriate language is important because as stated before the coach is the role model and the coach needs to lead his players the professional way. Respect all athletes of all abilities and treat them equally this is important because it keeps the team happy and it will not lead to people being upset with the coach. If there is good morale players will play well. Promote fair play. Fair play is playing competitive but within the rules of the sport. Coaches should be teaching this during training or when they are with their players. The reason is it stops cheaters and makes sport more fun. For instance if a football coach encourages his players to dive and the dive caused a penalty. It can ruin the sport this is why it is important to be professional when coaching. A elite football coach and a beginner football coach will both take speaking clearly and using appropriate language into consideration. The reason is it is one of the most important part of their job, speaking. A elite football coach in contrast with the beginner football coach in most cases will like to promote fair play. Diving and cheating is found at amateur and professional level. A beginner football coach will try to let everyone play even players who have low ability. The reason is it keeps everyone happy. On the other hand, a elite football coach will not take this into consideration. They will play the best players and will not really worry about players being upset because they can easily replace players than to amateur level

Health and Safety

Managing safety is another important job of a sports coach. If a coach is working with anyone under the age of 18 the responsibility becomes a legal obligation of a duty of care. Duty of care is standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could possibly harm others. Safety checks should be done before and after a training session. For instance checking the surface for any objects which may harm participants and making sure equipment is put away after training. The sports coach should also assess risks, as stated before checking the playing area. Protect athletes from injury reduce the likelihood of risk. An example of doing this in rugby wrapping the post with pads. Risks cause injuries and there are two major causes of injuries extrinsic risks and intrinsic risks. Extrinsic risks is something outside the body that may cause a injury and intrinsic risks is a physical aspect of the body that may cause injury. Examples of a extrinsic risk: Weather conditions, inappropriate clothing and equipment failure. Weather condition is a risk because if it is raining it can make playing surfaces slippery which may cause falls and slips which can lead to injury. Inappropriate clothing can be a problem because if clothes are too baggy in karate fingers and toes can get caught and cause injuries. Equipment failure is a risk because if the grip on the cricket bat is not useful no more it can lead to more chance of the bat flying out of the hand and hitting someone. Examples of instrinsic risks are: Overuse, age, poor technique. Overusing a muscle is a risk because it can cause injuries. For example hours amount of running is overusing the muscles in legs. Age is another risk because at some ages some things can not be done. For instance if someone is 75 years and over they can not be doing hours of intensity training as it will cause harm to them due to their bones being weak. Poor technique can cause injuries as well. Poor technique is doing something in sport the wrong way. For example in trampolining it is a poor technique to land on the back of your head because it will cause injuries. Sport coaches may benefit from obtaining a first-aid qualification to ensure what to do if an athlete gets injured. For example if people bang heads in rugby the coach knows what procedures to go through to avoid any later damage which may happen. A football coach who works at school will need to take into consideration the weather. For example if it is raining the surface will be wet and slippery some training ideas should not be used such as agility training it involves a lot of turning. On the other hand, a basketball coach will not take the weather into consideration as basketball is played indoors. A basketball coach in contrast with a football coach will both consider what the athletes are wearing. For example if someone is not wearing the correct shoes it is the coach's responsibility to tell them to replace it and the shoes in both basketball and football are also important.

Legal obiligations

Child protection is for people under the age of 18. Coaches should be aware of child-protection procedures. If a coach is working with children (under the age of 18) they must be a subject of a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) this checks if the coach has any criminal records. This is important because it makes sure that children are safe when their parents are not around. The Children Act (2004)- the act enforces specific duties that must be carried out by service providers: providing care and supervised activities for all children at all times, publishing information about the services and ensuring that registration is completed for all organisations that have activities with children under the age of 18. Coaches should also recognise the main forms of child abuse. One they should recognise is physical abuse. Physical abuse is a injury caused by an adult to a child. This may be visible if they are unexplained bruising, cuts or burns on the child's body. Another type of abuse a coach should recognise is sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is when a adult meet their own sexual needs to a child. This can be recognised if the child expresses over-sexualised behaviour. Emotional abuse is another type of a abuse a coach should see with a child. Emotional abuse is a persistent lack of love their parents show towards their child. This can be visible if the child becomes withdrawn from social contact with others. Another type of abuse is neglect. Neglect is failure to meet the child's basic needs. For example not feeding them enough food or not giving them enough clothes. Neglect can be evident from the child's appearance and clothing. If the coach knows and has enough information that the child is being abused the coach should: react calmly so it does not scare the child, tell the child is not their fault and they were right to tell, reassure the child and make a full record of what the child has said. Once this happens the coach should report findings to designated child-protection officer or the police. A PE school teacher will be looking at signs of abuse with the students he is working with because they all under the age of 18. However, a fitness coach working with people 30 and over will not be looking for these signs. The reason is they all over the age of 18.

Knowledge of the coaching environement

Sport coaches should know the environment the session is going to be delivered. Examples of different environment are sports halls, astroturf pitches, outdoor pitches and indoor pitches. The coach will be aware of the size of the environment and how it can be best used. For example it will be best to do the bleep test indoors rather than outdoors because indoors you will be able to hear the tape better. Another example is that it is better to play football outdoors rather than indoors because matches will be played outdoors and it will lead the team to be adapted and comfortable during match days. More knowledge of the coaching environment will lead to more organised sessions. Athletes working under the coach will take the coach seriously leading to better performances. An elite football coach such as Jose Mourinho will not have to worry about the coaching environment as his team/club have a diagnosed training area which they have not changed. In contrast with Conte who also have a diagnosed training area with Chelsea. However, a football coach with a school team may not have that set up because they may have to rent land to train. Some land many not be able to be rented every week so the football coach may have to know a few coaching environments.

1.3 Skills


Evaluating is a way of looking at performances and seeing how you can improve. For example the coach watching a video of their trainee and seeing how he can get a body shot next time he spars. This is important for coaches to watch videos because it gives the coach some ideas what training to do and allows the coach to know weaknesses and strengths of their trainee. In evaluating you can compare to elite performers in the sport. This can lead to improvement as they are learning from the best. For example you can watch videos of elite performer and watch a video of yourself and compare the differences for you to improve. Sam Alladayce uses pro-zone to evaluate his players. Pro-zone is a statistical evaluation and has a lot of detail. For instance it can say the distance you ran on the pitch. On the other hand, a Sunday league manager will use peer observation. He may use this because he does not have the funds to have pro-zone. During half-time or after the game the coach will ask the team how they think they done.


Communication is one of the most important skill required to coach athletes effectively. Coaches have to exchange information to get a point across to their players. There are three forms of communication-verbal and non verbal. Listening skills is another form of communication. Verbal communication is using your mouth and noises to communicate to other people. The language should be simple and clear. A coach should ensure that what they are saying is appropriate or correct. For instance in netball a sports coach can not start swearing as it is not appropriate. A good way to make sure the athlete understood what the coach said is by asking questions after. For example if a sports coach explained how to pass in football, the sports coach should ask the athlete to give back one tip in doing a pass in football. Non-verbal communication can take many forms for example body language or hand signals. Players can usually tell a coach is upset due to the body language. This can cause players to play better . For example if hands are on hips, head always bowed down or not acting enuthastic enough can suggest a coach is upset. Hand signals can provide instructions to athletes. For example in football if the coach waves his hands towards the goal they are shooting, this may suggest to push further up the pitch. It is also important that a coach can receive information. In order to improve listening skills a coach should whilst someone is talking: concentrate when someone is talking, make eye contact with speaker and avoid interrupting the speaker. Concentration improves listening skills because all your focus is on the speaker which leads to more chance of you understanding the speaker. Eye contact can also improve listening skills because eye contact improves concentration. Avoiding to interrupt the speaker leads to better listening skills because if you try to interrupt the speaker then your focus is not one hundred percent on the person speaking. In a Sunday League match the coaches are likely to use verbal communication because they can be heard. Another reason is at that level non-verbal communication such as hand signals will be hard to understand. However, Wenger will not use verbal communication because during matches there is a crowd and it will be very hard for the players to hear him if he spoke. Wenger uses non-verbal communication such as hand signals to get his point across. His players are at level where they will understand. Wenger in contrast with the Sunday league manager is that they will use non-verbal communication such as body language to express how they feel.


When planning sessions the coach needs to be organised. It can lead to a successful session and will motivate athletes. To be organised in a session the coach should know: how many participants are taking part, ensure that the activities appropriate for all the participants and ensure the facility is booked for sessions. It is important to know how many participants are taking part because the coach will know how many of each equipment is needed or what environment to place the session. Ensure that activities are appropriate for all levels is important because everyone will enjoy the session and the team morale will be high. This may lead to a better sports performance. For example some football drills will be advanced shooting and some will be normal shooting. Ensure the facility is booked is really important because without the environment they can be no session. A elite football coach for instance Pep Guardiola will not care if the activities are not appropriate for all levels as his training will be advanced. If it is too hard then you are not good enough to play in the team and will be kicked out. He wants the best players to play and does not care if people are upset for not playing. On the other hand, a school football coach will ensure that activities are appropriate for all levels as he will have different players with different abilities working with him whereas Guardiola will only have the best players with him. The school teacher in contrast with Guardiola is that they will know how many people are taking part in the session. In elite and in amateur level it is still important to know how many people will participate in the session.