Be authentic, create your own philosophy

December 18, 2018

 

Perhaps some, mostly young and inexperienced coaches, will rightly ask, "Why do I need my own philosophy, it is not my task to empty philosophically, but to organize and coach, to prepare athletes for competitions?" The answer to this and similar questions is reminding these coaches that their job is, in many situations, in which they have to make difficult decisions and to solve ethical dilemmas. The role of a well-developed coaching philosophy is to help coaches to make such difficult decisions easier, not to succumb to external pressures, not to undermine their moral and professional integrity, to successfully meet the requirements of training, to establish relationships of mutual trust and respect with athletes to build successful coaching career. The coaching philosophy is something that builds independently from your personality, what you really are, and you are trying to become, from the conditions in which you live and work, from your general life philosophy.

 

According to  psychologist R. Martens, the author of the book "Successful Coaching", which is the official textbook of the American Program for the Education of Sports Coaches, the training philosophy consists of:

 

1. The main goals you want to achieve  

2. Your beliefs and principles that help you achieve your goals.

 

They help you to deal with different life situations, because you will respond to them in accordance with your beliefs and principles, be aware of the consequence of such actions, and be prepared to either strengthen your beliefs and principles, or change and adapt. The key to developing the philosophy of training and the philosophy of life is your readiness to know yourself, to set yourself and honestly answer the following three questions :

 

1. Why do I want to become a coach, or why did I choose to be a coach?

2. Who do I want to coach?

3. What coach do I want to be?

 

The coaching philosophy does not build up by reading the books about it, nor by copying and mastering the philosophy of some famous coaches. It is acquired through work, it is the result of all your life experiences and should be consistent with your general life principles, your general life philosophy. This means that athletes should be treated the same way you treat people in other areas of your life. Of course, if you are a coach in children's and youth sports, then many of your actions must be tailored to the needs of young people and do not act with them as you do with adults. You must always keep in mind that children are not miniature adults and that it is your job to follow the principles of the golden rule:


"Deal with others the way they want them to treat you," which could translate to the work with children and young people as- "Treat young athletes the way you would like other coaches to deal with your child."


For coaches, nothing is as practical and useful as a well-developed philosophy of life and coaching, because it gives them direction, influences how they perceive and interpret things, experiences, people and events in their lives, determines their attitude to the coaching role, goals and tasks they want to achieve - other sports professionals define it through certain rules of conduct in training, priorities in dealing with athletes, duties and responsibilities that relate to their role.   

Coaching philosophy consists of building one's own strength and mental strength, the ability of the athletes to focus on performance, to free themselves from the fear of competition, not to create panic and not being panicked. A coach with a good philosophy, which at the same time means a proper approach to coaching, treasures himself and his players well to prepare for the match, to properly assign tasks, to make sure that each player performs what he / she is expected to do, trying to win at each competition not because it will bring him greater success, but because he is engaged (responsible) to do so.

 

Coaching philosophy is the basis of all coaching activities and that the most important element is deciding how coaches will treat athletes. It lies at the heart of their decision-making process, the goals set by them, the climate they create in training and competitions. In order to develop their coaching philosophy, the coaches should answer the following eight questions diligently and honestly:

 

1. What do they want to achieve?

2. What are their priorities?

3. What are their responsibilities?

4. What methods of training do they use?

5. How do they define success?

6. How will it organize training and matches?

7. What are team rules and consequences?

8. How will he communicate his philosophy? 

 

Coaching philosophy is crucial to determining your coaching career and how your team will function in practice and competition situations. Not only is it the cornerstone of your coaching program, a guide for you and your staff, it also defines a working environment for athletes in your team. It instructs them to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions and encourages them to meet the expectations set before them as individuals and as a team as a whole. Young coaches create a dynamic philosophy that continues to evolve until they become sure of the correctness of their actions and decisions regarding their athletes and teams. Coaching philosophy shapes the experiences that you as coaches acquire working with different athletes in different situations. Your coaching philosophy should consist of the following principles:


▶Be your own, be authentic.
▶Determine your coaching goals.
▶Set rules.
▶Build and nurture relationships with athletes.

 

 

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