What Makes a Great Coach?

November 5, 2021
Football players standing

What makes a great coach? 

No, really? What is it?

A quick google search will churn out numerous lists of skills and qualities that make a great coach. Maybe even drills to use, experts to follow and phrases to avoid. But what can we do with this information? In reality, how can we strive to be a great coach? If someone had a one-size fits all answer to this question, they’d be a millionaire. 

Coaching is and will always be based on the context of the situation. The contrast between coaching the high school football team and the gold medal winning team at the Olympics means that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. So, I asked our team here at PlayerData some of the lessons they have learnt from coaching and what they thought they needed to be a great coach! 

Our first reply, stated that the most important thing for them as a rugby coach was shadowing other coaches and learning how they coach that same things in different ways; 

“So for instance, if I'm coaching someone how to throw into a lineout, I struggle not to just explain the action in the way I would do it personally, as I started out as a player. For me, shadowing other coaches helps me learn how to question, allowing me to gauge how a player actually felt about the skill I am trying to coach and giving me insight into different ways of coaching the same things.”

Then Nick, (our graphics wizard) explained that some of the biggest lessons he’s learnt coaching have come from working or talking with other coaches and seeing how they coach similar aspects of the sport. He said that there are always ways to improve how we coach, and they can be learnt from coaches or athletes of all levels. 

So, what does it mean? Is there one sure-fire way to improve as a coach? We might just have an idea… 

Sharing information!  

After all, they do say knowledge is power. As coaches we have the choice to share information; to receive it, use it and share it more, recycling and changing the truth of coaching. How do you fix this problem one day and differently the next? The power in sharing information is endless. So, the next step is, how do you get access to more knowledge? 

American football does it well, holding coaching conferences and conventions regularly. However, they don’t model information sharing from the top down! The important part is that it's not just amateur or high school coaches learning from NFL coaches. There are people from all levels presenting to everyone. If you are doing something interesting in American Football, people want to learn more. It isn't uncommon for a high school coach to do something innovative, present at some conventions and you see it appear in the NFL. 

If we all get better, the sport gets better. 

At PlayerData, we truly believe in improving grassroots sport. Which is why we have been searching for ways to better serve the coaches we work with. With our services we supply the data, the analysis, and the technological insight to help improve players, tactics and strategy. While the Coaches’ Voice Academy can provide the theory to back it up as well as the insight into how others are using various coaching techniques! Our partnership with The Coaches’ Voice provides that important part of the puzzle that we knew we needed to find to be better for our customers.

Together, we believe we can help support our coaches on their journey, whether they are an U14s team, an amateur team or a semi-professional team. This is why we pride ourselves on the community we are building, creating more opportunities for coaches to come together and help share insights and tops with one another, and providing resources so we can all improve the game together.

Though we are working with The Coaches’ Voice long-term, our partnership kick-off promo is coming to an end. Until Monday we’re offering all teams that sign up to PlayerData’s EDGE services free access to the Coaches’ Voice Academy so get in touch now before time runs out.

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