What does it take to be a sports coach? There are many attributes that are needed, but selflessness is the most important one. If you become a coach to someone, in whatever discipline, then the first thing you need to remember is that it is not about you.
If you have decided to venture into coaching, then you have most likely played or practiced the sport in question. It is very easy to become too absorbed and try to relive the memories of times long gone, but you also need to keep at the forefront of your mind that the most important thing at stake is your charge, the person you are mentoring and encouraging.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that while you should try to impart all your knowledge and experience, you cannot – at any time – try to impose conditions that you wished you had achieved when you were a practicing sportsman or woman.
Being a coach is all about trying to pass on all your knowledge to another person. Sure, you should guide your charge and try and prevent them from making bad decisions, or taking the wrong path, but it is also about letting that person use sports to develop themselves a human being, You can guide them, but they also need to make their own decisions. The old saying goes, ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink’. This holds especially true in the world of coaching, You might know what is best, but it is useless pushing that down someone’s throat if they do not recognize it for themselves.
Coaching is very rewarding, but it is also very demanding. When you coach someone in something you need to set out with the mindset that you are a team, but you also need to guide as a leader… Ultimately, though, decisions will be taken by the protagonist, and that is not you.