Being a good coach by helping a group to become better players is an important aspect of coaching, but there is so much more to it than just that.  Children idolise their coach, who plays a massive role in their development. The importance of being a good role model for your players and teaching them how to become good people should never be underestimated. It is also important to inspire them by engaging them with enjoyable sessions which will hopefully encourage them to continue playing sport and give them the desire to become coaches when they stop playing. The majority of your players won’t make it as professionals but they will all continue to be members of their community and hopefully become coaches of their local football team. This highlights how vital it is to develop good people and excellent role models. Developing good players and winning trophies is great but giving children the life skills which will keep them on the right path and enable them to achieve something special with their lives is a much more powerful legacy to leave behind.

When you build up a reputation of being a good coach it brings added responsibility. The influence you can now exert becomes much wider than just influencing your own team. Taking time out from your busy schedule to have a brief chat, agreeing to meet young and upcoming coaches, late night telephone calls and emails to respond to queries, are just a few of the tasks influential coaches may be faced with. These seemingly small interactions leave a lasting impact on young coaches and not only gives them added knowledge from your experiences but it also inspires them to really listen to your advice in the hope that one day they might become as good as you.  It also sets a good example by showing the young coach how important it is to take time out to help others encouraging them to do the same in the future. Giving up your time on a weekend to organise and present a coach education workshop to 15 coaches at a local football club could result in you influencing the footballing experience which potentially 200 children will receive. You can help that local u10 coach to put on a good training session which will keep their players engaged and motivated to turn up to football.  It can also inspire the coaches to put more effort into their sessions after a hard day at work and to direct them towards where they need to go to become more effective. Fulfilling these small tasks can have a massive impact on the development of both players and coaches which will have a long lasting impact.

When you become a highly respected coach please use your power for good and don’t underestimate the impact you have on young players and coaches. Developing good players and creating effective teams is success as a coach but you should also define your success by how many of your players remain in sport, how many follow a positive path in life with full time jobs, and progressing into further education. I appreciate experienced coaches are busy but how long does it take to reply to an email, stop for a quick chat, or to ask a young coach how they are getting on, instilling encouragement and enthusiasm. Trust me this time is well spent and will help to inspire the next generation of coaches hopefully resulting in improving the sporting standards and development of good people within our communities. This will leave a long lasting legacy, bringing immense satisfaction, enhancing the sport experiences and lives of many and will far outweigh any trophy you could ever aspire to win.  Ask yourself this question: what legacy do I want to leave behind?


Originally posted: 29th May 2015.