Coaching a school team might seem like a simple task, but if you’ve ever been surrounded by a hoard of young kids or teens, you’ll know it’s actually quite a feat. It’s not just running around and playing games – coaching requires strategy, practice, and training while still keeping it fun. If you’ve studied coaching, personal training, management or fitness with eta College, or do so in the future, you have the skills to be a great school team coach. View all our courses here.
These four truths will make coaching a school team a little less daunting:
Bullies must go
There is a fine line between being competitive and being a bully. A team quickly becomes divided when someone is bullied – it becomes a game of picking sides. Don’t think that bullies are only other children, as coaches can be bullies too. The bottom line is, bullies must go. If it’s a child, strict discipline must be enforced and a close eye kept on them. If it’s the coach – that’s you – then maybe consider a career change. Don’t single children out, when you’re frustrated don’t follow your natural irritable instincts, and don’t raise your voice – remain calm.
Team before coach
As a coach, your first priority is your team. Your bad day shouldn’t affect your ability to train them. Your lethargy shouldn’t affect your ability to motivate those players. The team looks to you for guidance and encouragement, discipline and boundaries. Their priorities are always higher than yours. When the team feels valued, you will feel like you’re adding value.
Focus, focus, fun
Coaching takes time and effort. Each person in the team also has to commit time and effort. It’s no secret that kids can have trouble concentrating or applying themselves. This is where you come in – part of your role is to teach them to use their time wisely and channel their efforts in the right way. While you have to keep the team focused, it’s also important for them to have fun. So the phrase ‘focus, focus, fun’ is good to keep in mind for striking the ideal balance. They’ll learn that if they train hard, they can play hard too – on and off the field.
Not all can win
It often comes as a surprise to school team coaches that not everyone becomes a national athlete. Some kids are naturally athletic, others are not. Some kids can train to be athletic. Some kids will never be athletic. Not all players will one day compete in the Olympics, or take medals home from track races, or even score goals! Accept all of this and you’ll take less of your team’s results personally. Yes, some might go on to be sports stars. Others will always have two left legs and a depth perception problem, but will have gained valuable life lessons, personal relationships and a healthy attitude to exercise from their sports involvement at school. Be committed to both.
Coaching a school team is very rewarding, and could be the perfect job for you if you’re passionate about coaching, management or fitness. It provides great experience, you get to test your own abilities and you’ll develop the interpersonal skills to train other teams.
If you’d like to further your qualification, sign up for one of our short courses or online courses to specialise in a specific area of sports. Better yet, apply online now to study at eta College in 2018.