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Coaching For Positive Responses

April 17, 2012
By ED Broderick of Todd County Central High School

The importance of coaching is self-evident. Coaches are responsible for developing athletes’mental, physical, technical, and tactical abilities, and in addition to all of these responsibilities,they are also expected to win. The few individuals who meet from their peers as superior coaches. We come to know these individuals as the coaching greats (e.g., Vince Lombardi, Pat Summitt, John Wooden). The context of sport lends itself to the study of coaching greatness; however, no studies have directly explored this phenomenon.In addition, a clear definition of coaching greatness does not exist.

In general, society identifies coaches as “great” based on two criteria: win/loss records and media attention. This narrow definition limits the study of coaching greatness in two ways. First, the media focuses its coverage on high-visibility sports and on coaches participating at only the highest levels of competition.Relying solely on wins and losses to identify great coaches is also limiting. A winning record may indicate that a coach is effective, but may not necessarily mean that a coach is great.

I feel that Effective coaching is defined as “that which results in either successful performance outcomes (measured in terms of either win-loss percentages(?) or degree of self-perceived performance abilities) or positive psychological responses on the part of the athletes. That positive response from a player is what makes him the coach he wants to be.

You can't get no response if you don't have knowledge of the game. Not from books, but from standing there taking your swings. The aspect that everytime I did something wrong and I corrected it, I was soaking up knowledge. Then you can read books on character. 

Good coaches understand that knowledge runs a distant second to character when it comes to leadership. Many times I have been with an intellectually gifted coach who couldn't understand that driving results from a group requires that the group feels good about themselves, not about the person doing the talking! For the most part human beings long for two things, to feel understood and appreciated. Give your players that and you're off to a good start.

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