Blog 1 August The 9 purposes of being a Sports Coach)

We are living in competitive times so you need to be on top of your game in whatever you do. In this post I attempt to share the purposes of being a sports coach and also the important role that any coach plays in society.

  1. YOU GET TO FULFIL ATHLETES DREAMS– Almost all children are exposed to different kinds of sport when they are still very young, and through this they develop dreams of being like their sporting heroes/heroines. As a sports coach you play a significant part in the process of developing the necessary skills and a healthy mind-set to get the very best performance out of athletes. In so doing, you play a huge part in athletes being able to realise their dreams.
  2. YOU GET TO FULFIL YOUR OWN DREAMS– If you love sport, why not develop a career in sport? Over the years of being a pro athlete, I have bared witness to so many other athletes and sport fanatics become ensnared in careers that they do not want to be in. They become “victims” of a struggling economy and end up pitching for work everyday where they do not feel motivated to give of their best. As the famous businessman Warren Buffet said, “If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life.” Being a coach allows you to stay involved in sport in some way and dedicate your life to something you love and have a passion for.
  3. YOU GET TO TEACH PHYSICAL SPORT SKILLS– As a coach you get to teach many athletes a wide range of physical skills. You teach them how to run, jump, dodge, skip, catch and throw successfully. Through consistent practise you also get to teach visual skills, co-ordination skills, balancing skills and spatial-awareness – skills all top athletes possess.
  4. YOU GET TO TEACH EMOTIONAL SKILLS– Learning emotional control is a crucial skill that can be transferred into any area of your life, be it in relationships with family and friends, in marriage, or even in business and working environments. To be successful in these areas you need to learn how to be composed and be able to recognise and control your emotions. Emotional intelligence is all about recognising your own emotions and moods, as well as your ability to understand other people’s moods, their behaviours, and motives in order to respond effectively, and improve the quality of your relationships.
  5. YOU GET TO TEACH MENTAL SKILLS– Any successful pro-athlete will tell you that the number one factor in achieving success at the top, is mental toughness. Being a sports coach allows you to develop characteristics of a winning mentality that you need in order to be successful in any area of life. You get to teach the principles of sacrifice, good habits, repetition, accountability, good self-esteem, confidence, communication and being a good role-model, and in the process develop more athletes like the Federer’s, Messi’s and the Ronaldo’s of the world. You get to develop true leaders who believe in themselves, have positive mind-sets, are hard-working, and who are able to deal with failure and disappointment, and have the grit to overcome any obstacles.
  6. YOU GET TO DEVELOP STRONG LEADERS– Leadership is a scarce skill. In order for South Africa to become a powerhouse in a lot more sporting codes, we need strong, honest leaders who can create an inspiring hope for the future. Essentially, as a coach you have to develop strong leadership characteristics within your team in order for those individuals, and in turn that team, to be amongst the best in their sporting code. These leadership characteristics can also be transferred to any area of life.
  7. YOU CAN SCALE A BEAUTIFUL LIFE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY– As a pro athlete I got the opportunity to travel all around the world, competing in over 20 different countries. When you make it as a top level sports coach, you get to do the same. Creating champions and being a successful coach will allow you to live a seemingly unrestricted life and the life that you want. It’s going to allow you to live out your dreams and do things like travel the world with your loved ones. You also get to build true wealth in all areas of life, not just financially.
  8. YOU GET TO SERVE HUMANITY– When you help people achieve their dreams, when you build an exceptional team of leaders, when you instil good values, when you build a blueprint for success, then you build a legacy of changing lives for the better. When you are successful at what you do it allows others to be successful as well and creates an atmosphere of fruitfulness where there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to be successful. By creating champions, you get to be a part of changing the community, city and country for the better. You get to make the world a better place.
  9. YOU GET TO IMPLEMENT KNOWLEDGE– Sport coaches have the skills to optimise every aspect of an athlete’s training to ensure that they produce the best performance. At top level, the difference between winning and losing is in the inches. A coach has knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics and physiology and understands how to apply it to the training process. The coach knows how to apply training load to appropriately stress each athlete in order to get a desired response and adaptation, and extend the athlete’s fitness capacity. A coach also understands nutrition and hydration and how it affects sports performance.

There is a huge need for so many codes for honest, passionate and educated coaches in this country. I trust that this blog will open your eyes to see the role that sport plays in changing society for the better as our country needs more heroes. I hope this has inspired you enough to take action in getting your coaching career started.

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Written by: Grant Goldschmidt (Coaching Science Lecturer)

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