The importance of a not so critical friend in sports coaching!

Where am I going with my coaching?  Am I really helping my athletes improve? Should I be doing things differently? Am I any good at coaching?

These are questions I have asked myself time and time again and often in my head I fail to come up with a positive answer. You may have experienced this too, it’s not uncommon.

coachIt takes me a bit of time but I come round to my senses and my enjoyment of coaching and seeing others develop are my motivations. However, since I have accessed a coach mentor in both a formal setting and an informal setting my mind-set has changed. The questions I ask myself are far more positive.

Yes I am developing my athletes but how can I develop them further? I believe in my coaching philosophy but what other coaching practices should I be aware of that can support my development? I am a good coach but what areas of development should I improve?

The importance of a mentor whether it is just another coach to talk to or someone who has trained as a mentor has played a significant role on my coaching journey. Mentors are essentially someone to talk to, to share ideas and help overcome challenges.

My mentors have helped me identify goals, establish my coaching philosophy, increase my confidence in my own ability and understand the individual needs of my athletes. The process has been motivational and intrinsically rewarding and has even helped me to self-reflect with a far more positive mind-set.

If this is something you relate to as a coach and would like support to find a mentor then Leap can support you. Leap has an informal and formal mentoring support programme. To find out more click here.

Written by Sion Kitson, Leap Workforce Development Manger for Leap, Level 3 Coach and tutor/mentor for The FA.

@KitSion