INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

8 tips when starting out as a new coach

The desire to become a coach, and the pursuit of your first qualification, is one thing, writes Andrew Raeburn.

But all the theory doesn’t necessarily prepare you for the moment you first stand in front of a group of players, or how you feel on your way home.

Tom Hartley – coach programme and pathway manager at UK Coaching, who spent 10 years at the Football Association and three at Arsenal Women – has penned some advice for those at the beginning of their coaching journey.

He said: “As a guiding principle, think about what you know, your relationships with others and self-awareness.”

Here are Tom’s eight tips to help you kick-start your coaching journey…

 

01 KEEP PRACTICE SIMPLE

“It’s easy to overthink things. Keeping your practice design simple will help you deliver a solid practice, without putting too much pressure on yourself.”

02 MAKE A PLAN

“Having a plan helps you develop your knowledge as a coach, gives you a foundation to be creative from and gives you something clear to reflect on after the practice.”

03 REFLECT – AND OFTEN

“As well as practicing your practice, practice your reflection. This could be making some notes about what went well, chatting to another coach, or involving the athletes themselves.”

04 DEVELOP A STRATEGY TO MANAGE BEHAVIOUR

“Unhelpful behaviour from people taking part happens. That’s the joy of working with other people. Developing a plan to help you deal with this can keep you calm and give you confidence.”

Coaching can be a lonely vocation at times – Tom Hartley recommends building a network of people around you

05 BUILD A NETWORK

“Coaching is a team sport and having people around you who can help is really important. Take some time to consider who in your network can help you with what – from developing your knowledge to helping you store the kit.”

06 WORK WITH PARENTS

“No matter who you coach, parents can cause a challenge. But you can reframe this: parents have so much enthusiasm. Help them be your athletes’ support system – their biggest fans.”

07 TAKE YOUR TIME

“Coaching is a long-term thing. Learning takes time, both for the athletes as players and for you as a coach. Give yourself permission to make some mistakes and try stuff out. You will work out soon enough what feels right for you.”

08 BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE

“It is brilliant to learn from and be influenced by other coaches. But don’t try to imitate them. Be the best coach that you can be. Pick the best bits you notice in others and make it your own.”

 

Tom adds: “Regardless of who you are coaching, thank you for taking the step in to the coaching world.

“I can’t guarantee it will be easy, and it will certainly stretch you, but it’ll be one of the most amazing things you do.”

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