We know that creating a positive environment can help players due to the encouragement and willingness to be creative and explore new ways of displaying talent, but what about for coaches?
The coaching environment could be the day to day (or week to week) sessions and this could be positively developmental or negative, depending on the set up. Factors could include negativity from support staff, or a lack of enjoyment due to a lack of support or feeling valued from the club context you work in. You could also view it as the environments you’ve been exposed to to aid your coaching development – which is the same as for the players: the more situations experienced, the better you’ll become.
So which environments or situations could you benefit from? Where can you gain experiences?
- Watch coaches. Go and observe coaches in different settings. You might coach adults but you will certainly learn something from a youth coach, and vice versa!
- Try to coach in as many different situations as you can. It may be hard to fit time in of justify volunteering in different coaching environments but if you can, do it – exposing yourself to new skills will only benefit you and your regular group.
- You’re reading this, so im guessing you’re on social media…. Follow coaching pages – Twitter is great for those, as well as spiralling off to new connections who post great content.
- What about books? Reading can be a great switch off and an aid to learning, so you might as well upskill your coaching wt the same time!
For me, I think my time in previous roles working in community coaching helped me. Pay as you play sessions with no set number of players, players rolling in and out throughout with limited equipment gave me chances to learn how to be adaptable as well as managing big numbers!
Mixed ability sessions in and out of schools helped to differentiate.
Advanced sessions honed my game understanding. There are many more experiences but the point being, try to coach as much as possible and test yourself.
I think my biggest, and most enjoyable learning opportunities however came from coaching in Canada for a few summers. It became a second home personally, but professionally, the level of play and the seriousness of coaching improved my confidence and determination as everyone wants to know why something is happening, so you have to justify it. I would love the opportunity to return to Canada and show my developed coaching ability since I was last there (any offers, readers? 😉 ) – but the point of this is – get out there and practice, read, watch and immerse yourself in something you enjoy. You will only benefit from it.