Club

15 qualities of a good coach

He/she is a great player, he/she must be a great coach... Wrong!

Some great players can make a great coach but most great coaches are not great players. I will take football and the English Premier League as an example. If I had to ask you to name the best coaches of all time I am quite sure names such as Alex Fergusson, Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp, Arsene Wenger, Raphael Benitez... None of them were great players. So what made them good at coaching more skillfull players?

Think back to the people in your life who have recognized your potential and used their talents to help you discover and shape your own. When a coach like this is present in the workplace, his or her influence can have a profound impact on the professional development of the entire team as well as the individuals within it. Most people would rather work under a manager who behaves as a coach than one who dictates and directs from above.

The Measurements of a Good Coach

There is no exact blueprint for a good coach, as each coach will have their own strengths and weaknesses. However, there are some distinct qualities that good coaches have in common.

1. A good coach is self-aware.
A critical first step to becoming a valuable and effective coach is self-awareness. Self-awareness is a journey in itself but to understand how instructions are perceived and received  by its players the coach must be self-aware and therefore be able to adapt to each situation and to each player. 

2. A good coach brings specific and well-defined issues to the attention of others.
Being unspecific about problem areas, or failing to bring them up with the appropriate parties, suggests a reluctance to affect positive change and a lack of leadership.

3. A good coach prepares for each session with lesson plans, long term plans, ideas, etc., and is ready for discussion. 
Coaching sessions should be scheduled in advance, and the coach should have a solid agenda for each session that lays out the mission for the day. Without structure, the coaching session can devolve into a casual hit with no real substance or direction.

4. A good coach treats individuals as equals, encouraging their input and trusting them to give 100%
Some coaches are fans of “tough love,” while others are more lenient, but what all good coaches have in common is respect for their players. Contempt and resentment have no place in an effective coaching relationship, and only breed further conflict.

5. A good coach knows the strengths and weaknesses of his or her players.
A good coach knows how to tap into the individual strengths of players to get the most out of them and to get the greatest amount of effort for the team.

6. A good coach makes expectations clear at the beginning of the coaching session.
Both the coach and the players must have a sense that each lesson has a distinct purpose for the session to proceed smoothly.

7. A good coach allows enough time to adequately discuss issues and concerns.
Blocking out enough time for a solid session, rather than squeezing it in and rushing through, shows respect for the player's time and allows them to participate more thoughtfully.

8. A good coach seeks out ideas and makes those ideas part of the solution.
Take it as a red flag if a coach is not willing to hear ideas, suggestions, or thoughts from other members of the team or its players. A coach is there to serve the team and players, not for the players to serve his or her ego.

9. A good coach listens to others and tries to understand their points of view.
Rather than assigning blame or delivering unhelpful criticism, he or she allows the players to explain things from the other side, which can often uncover the root of a misunderstanding or miscommunication.

10. A good coach expresses encouragement and optimism when both easy and difficult issues are discussed.
Sometimes an issue can be the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. It’s the coach’s job to make this issue less intimidating by modeling a constructive attitude that brings the team together to address it.

11. A good coach directly asks for a commitment to solutions that have been agreed upon.
Coaches can’t be wishy-washy about their expectations. The player must be held accountable for improving (whatever the goal is - Rating, technical aspect, tactical knowledge, mental strength, physical strength... but it can also be having more fun, dealing with self-pressure - not all players want to become pro players).

12. A good coach provides the resources, authority, training and support necessary for others to carry out solutions.
Coaching doesn’t end when the session ends. It is up to the coach to follow through with any additional guidance the player might need to move forward.

13. A good coach offers support and assistance to those he or she is coaching to help them implement change and achieve desired goals.
Personal development is a team effort. It’s usually not wise to simply cut the player free after a session and expect him or her to achieve everything on their own. This is also when the support of the family is essential.

14. A good coach follows up on coaching sessions in a timely manner.
It’s all too easy for coaching to fall down the priority ladder among all the other demands of the day-to-day job duties. At the end of each coaching session, it’s a good idea to go ahead and schedule the next one, and to hold to that commitment when the time comes around.

15. When solutions do not turn out as expected, a good coach proactively helps to define alternative actions.
If at first the player does not succeed, it could be that there was a misunderstanding. You will sometimes hear Sebastien saying: "If a player fails, it is because I have failed to prepare them for that situation".

When coaching is done in the spirit of mutual respect, the rewards and benefits for your players and customers are endless. What is important is to establish a positive coaching relationship between the coach and the players that incorporates all parties’ strengths.

I will add an extra 2 qualities :)

16. A good coach is an experienced coach

17. A good coach follows a philosophy he/she believes in