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Practical Sports Coaching Essay

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In this assignment I am going to identify, describe and analyse some of the main techniques of a successful coach, while considering how they could be used in both individual and team sports.

Purpose of coaching

Coaching is helping to develop a person through the improvement of their athletic performance. It involves the physical and psychological development of the person to take them beyond their present level.

Successful coaching

To be a successful coach you have to take some of the following into account:

* Planning and organisation – If you want to get the best from a coaching session it is essential that you are well organised.

Before starting coaching, a session plan should be made out. This allows us to run a session in a professional and organised manner. The session plan should get progressively more difficult, not suddenly jump from relatively simple to hard with no stages in between.

* Communication – When coaching it should be remembered that younger children would require a lot more help and advice than older athletes will.

So when coaching we should adjust are techniques accordingly to make sure whoever we are coaching understands clearly what they have to do.

* Monitoring and evaluating – Performance of the athletes should be well monitored throughout all sessions, this way a coach can adjust his/ her session according to performance. It is important to keep progression at a tempo suitable to all the athletes in the group so nobody gets left behind and so everybody understands all the drills they do, so when putting it into a competitive situation they understand what to do.

* Analysing and problem solving – During training a coach should not only analyse the group as a whole, but individuals. Some individuals will be able to perform drills more quickly than others. It is important that you make sure that the weaker individuals are given a bit of extra help.

* Tactics – A coach will need to make sure that athletes use the skills they have developed at the right time. This will involve coaches creating role-play situations in training and letting athletes decide how best to handle the situation.

* Sports science – As well as all this a coach must be aware of the role of sport science, many of the things associated with sport science are applicable to coaching.

* Health and safety – A coach must ensure that they have taken every precaution possible to prevent an athlete suffering an injury.

Psychological techniques

Successful coaches have to have a good Psychological side to the game so that they no what is required and what they have to face in the future. They also have to not buckle under pressure and always be strong for the players and the team. If a player sees that their coach is finding it difficult, then they no that they are not doing the right job and their confidence level drops. A successful coach has to always try to take something good out of a game so that they can build on places were they went wrong and try and fix them.

If they find something good in the game then the player’s confidence level gradually builds and they start to play better. They have to get the players into good habits and a routine for training. They have to have a good idea of what routine they are going to take the players for and be able to plan a good training programme. A successful coach also has to develop a mental toughness. They have to teach the players to work and play as part of a team and not to play for themselves. They have to be able to interact in a competitive environment.

The coach must always bear in mind that sport is an area of life that people enter into in order to have fun and enjoy themselves.

The coach must prepare teams and individuals to maximise their chances of winning, but they must not lose sight of the pleasure that sport can bring.

This development of skills must always be practised in a safe environment and ensure the safety of participants and the coach.

Physical techniques

A successful coach has to try to kept the physical level of all of the players to a high standard so that then are able to last the full game. If they are not used to training very much and they go and play a full game then their muscles become over used because the body can not cope with the pressure that is being put upon it and it results in an injury. If the coach gets the players into a routine of training, then the players improve on places were they are lacking and try to improve their performance on the pitch and please the coach. It then relates back to the mental side because if the performance of the players is good and the players are happy then the coach is happy.

Coaches have to aim to improve speed, strength, flexibility and endurance. To minimise the chances of any player getting injured, the coach has to strengthen and develop techniques to unable this to occur. They have to get the players into good habits and a routine for training. They have to have a good idea of what routine they are going to take the players for and be able to plan a good training programme.

Personal skills of a coach

There are many different styles of coaching, and most coaches nowadays have there own views on how things should be done. These are many different personalities and styles throughout the world. However the very best coaches always seem to have at least five things in common.

* A professional approach – Modern coaches are now paying more attention to the small things that make all the difference. They also know that they have to conduct themselves in professional and appropriate manner, and always act in the best interests of the club or team.

* They are good role models – Coaches must set a standard, which their athletes should aspire to. Their personal habits must be good and should be the example setter at the club. If athletes see that there coach is arriving late then they will consider this to be acceptable and do the same themselves.

* Knowledge of the sport they are coaching – A coach needs to have a thorough understanding of the rules, techniques and tactical requirements of their chosen sport. This will make them a good role model for their players because if a coach is aware of all this it will be passed onto the athletes. It also shows that they will be able to understand the skills and will teach and evaluate the correctly.

* Motivational skills – Coaches must be able to keep their athletes motivated if they want them perform at the highest level they possibly can. If a coach can keep them motivated it means players are more likely to recognise their full potential.

* Communication skills – This includes not only what we say, but what we do as well. Coaches have to consider their body language as well as their verbal communication in creating the right type of atmosphere.

Issues to be considered when coaching

Coaches are in a position of responsibility to make sure nobody suffers injury so it is important that coaches understand the responsibility of what they are doing. They have a duty of care to everyone they coach.

There are 10 legal duties a coach should fulfil:

1. Plan the session thoroughly

2. Ensure method of coaching is safe and correct

3. Ensure the environment is safe

4. Provide good, up to date equipment

5. Check all equipment is working before use

6. Make sure nobody is suffering from an injury before starting

7. Make sure athletes are adequately prepared and warmed up properly

8. Make sure athletes know the risks and how to minimise these

9. Once started make sure you supervise the session carefully

10. Be prepared for an emergency situation, and be able to provide emergency assistance.


It may seem strange that insurance is considered important in effective coaching, but it is essential. Coaching should never be undertaken unless you know the proper insurance is in place.

However insurance is complex so just having insurance is just not enough. You need to know the following things about the insurance:

1. What activities are covered?

2. Where am I covered to coach?

3. What events are covered?

4. How much loss am I insured for?

5. What equipment and property are covered?

6. Are there any special conditions that are excluded?

7. What should I do in the event of a claim?

Child protection

When coaching children it is essential that they be protected. Coaches are placed in a position of trust by parents, and these parents, and these parents have a right to know that a coach will not abuse his position. To be a good coach you must be responsible for the children’s welfare. Sports organisations are aware that some ‘shady’ people will use sport as a means to get access to children an abuse them in one way or another. Some positive steps have been taken to make sure children are safe:

1. In January 2001, a child protection in sport unit (CPSU) was set up. This is based at the training centre of the NSPCC and is funded by the training staff.

2. There are now laws that require that organisations have child protection procedures in place and that is supported by training their staff.

3. The Criminal Records Bureau now provides information about the suitability of a person to work with children

4. Sport England requires evidence that child protection procedures are in place before any sport can take place.


For a coach to really successful they really have to enjoy what they are doing, they need to share the athlete’s dreams and help them achieve it. A coach will then be able to share in the success their athletes achieve. If a coach doesn’t enjoy what they are doing then there is really no point because athletes won’t gain anything from a coach who isn’t interested.

Practical sports coaching

Task 2


After taking the Millburn primary school children for a 15 minute warm up session before there soccer coaching I have decided to analyse my performance.

When I first took control of the group they were loud and full of energy. I managed to get the group under control, which was very important to make sure no injuries occurred and the session stayed organised.

I did a warm up drill which involved each child having a football, although this was a sport specific warm-up it was hard to maintain control.

Some of the children were more capable of keeping the ball at their feet than others and this inevitably led to balls going astray. When I noticed this I got the group to stop and talk them through the drill again, this time getting them to walk through it an keep ball closer to them.

Within the group we had a couple of quite talented boys who were keen to show the fact they were better than the rest and kept running with the ball, it was hard to instruct the other kids who were not so talented because concentrated too much on getting the others to slow down.

Before the end of the session the children started to get bored and admittedly I did myself. I tried to introduce a different drill to try capturing the attention of the children again. This attempt failed badly, because I had not organised anything and then lost control until instructor took over and ended the session.

Overall I don’t think it was a bad first attempt, with more confidence and better organisation it could have been better.

I have also added my session plan for the warm up drill on next page.

Coaching session plan

Venue: Coleraine leisure centre Date of session: 04-12-04

Time 10:30 Duration: 15 mins

Name of group: Millburn P.S Number of participants: 15

Equipment needed: 15 balls, cones, whistle.

Warm up 15 minutes

1. Stop the ball

2. Sit on the ball

3. Double touch

4. Knee to ball

5. Change direction

Give each child a ball and tell them to use whole area. Tell them what each of the commands are and issue them while they are running round hall with ball at their feet.


Summary: keep control of group and make sure the pacing is correct to avoid loss of control. Record all injuries no matter how minor.

Practical sports coaching

Task 3


For this assignment I have to analyse two performers, describe and explain what techniques and equipment could be used to improve their performance.

For this assignment I have chosen to base my two performers on and 8-year-old girl and a 15-year-old Down syndrome child.

For the 8 year old girl some of the equipment that might be required to help them get a feel for the game. You might use a lighter football and smaller football because it would be easier to pass the ball with a smaller and lighter ball. You might even make the ball pink to attract their attention better. If you use a lighter ball then it is easier for them to header it instead of throwing a hard ball for them to header because it will put them of playing football. You might play indoors because it help the ball move at a faster pace than if you were outside on the grass. When playing indoors bring the players closer to each other when passing the ball because then you make sure the ball reaches the other person and the ball doesn’t go all over the place and interrupt the other participants.

For a 15-year-old Down syndrome child some of the equipment that might be used are, a bigger ball and play indoors. It would be better to play them indoors because it is a more compacted and relaxed space. You would be better to use a bigger ball like a beach ball for them to use. It would be better for them to use the bigger ball because they have bad co-ordination and bad balance and using a smaller ball would give them a better advantage of hitting the ball. You would also use a beach ball because it doesn’t bounce as much and that means it would be easier for them to control it.

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Practical Sports Coaching. (2017, Aug 17). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/practical-sports-coaching-essay

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Hi, I am Sara from Studymoose

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Hi, I am Sara from Studymoose

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