Ten things your coach MUST do for you

Let me say up front that coaching is not easy, and I greatly respect anyone who takes on the role.


I am writing this blog from two perspectives: I am an elite athlete benefitting from my various coaches’ wisdom and knowledge, and I financially support my training by coaching Judo and running a personal trainer business. I am constantly reflecting on mistakes and positive choices from both positions in order to improve my coaching skills. So here are my thoughts.  


Good coaches:


 1. ACTUALLY COACH YOU. This means your coach pays attention to the details of everything you are doing, noticing the small stuff.  They don’t have an ‘I’ll fix his foot position next week’ type of attitude.


 2. TREAT THE RELATIONSHIP LIKE A TWO-WAY STREET. Your coach expects you to act your age, and, in turn, you should expect them to coach you accordingly. Many coaches who treat junior athletes like adults lose them. Alternatively, coaches can get frustrated and treat adults like children, and that patronising attitude is also counterproductive.


 3. FIRE YOU UP! How often have you turned up to training, had your coach nod his head, mumble his way through the warm up and initial drills - and before you know it – you’ve snoozed your way through an hour of training without being mentally or physically stimulated?


 4. PUSH FOR CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT. Too often when a student begins to really make progress they are given less guidance and support. 


 5. TAKE A STAND! Your coach can’t always act like a friend. There’s times in training (lots of them if you’re in the elite range) where what you NEED to do in order to get your results isn’t much fun. Taking it easy on your athlete sets an unhealthy precedent.


 6. CHEER YOU ON. Athletes are all too aware of when and how they lose, fail or make mistakes. Nothing will motivate an athlete to perform more than realising the coach enjoys their success just as much as they do. 

 7. ANALYSE ON-FIELD ISSUES. Whether the athlete was caught out, unlucky, made a mistake or just plain screwed up, they need to be able to debrief with their coach. Not analysing a mistake means that the athlete never gets ‘closure’ and might have that mistake on their mind for much longer than necessary.


 8. KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. Athletes aren’t dumb and when a 160+ kg coach is lecturing a player on nutrition and weight cutting, it can be hard to take. Too many coaches try to be all things to their players. There is nothing wrong with being an expert in one field and getting in specific experts for other fields. It shows your athlete that his or her training is a team approach.


 9. FOSTER RESPECT. Treating your players fairly by not screaming, abusing, berating them will do a lot more to earn their respect then otherwise. There is a time and place for a good yell; however the old school hard-ass approach will usually lead to negative results.


 10. ARE REAL. Athlete’s who have a real bond with their coach tend to achieve far better results. You don’t have to be buddies. Often there is a cultural or age gap that means you’ll never be that close.  However, it is the coach’s responsibility to learn about their player, what makes them tick and find something to take their mind of the daily grind of competition and training.


I am not the perfect coach.  As I said, I am learning as I go.




Write a comment

Comments: 7
  • #1

    Steve Foulds (Wednesday, 05 October 2011 16:10)

    Good article. One thing I do, & I advocate everyone does it, regardless of their occupation is spend an hour a day getting better at what you do. You never ever stop learning & the day you think you know everything is the day to move on.

  • #2

    Nick (Monday, 23 April 2012 09:36)

    "Fire you up": A very under rated and important part of coaching. I've been to clubs where they don't do this and I get bored and don't bring my A game, and then been to other clubs where the coach has really pushed us and kept us going the entire session, and I tell you it makes a difference.

  • #3

    Adidas NMD (Friday, 07 April 2017 23:22)

    http://www.nfljerseys.us/ NFL Jerseys

    http://www.yeezyboost350.us.com/ Yeezy Boost 350 V2

    http://www.longchampbags.us.com/ Longchamp Handbags

    http://www.adidas-uk.org.uk/ Adidas UK

    http://www.yeezys.org/ Yeezys

    http://www.nike-stores.fr/ Nike Store

    http://www.underarmouroutlet.us.com/ Under Armour Outlet

    http://www.timberlanduk.org.uk/ Timberland Boots

    http://www.jordan12.us/ Jordan 12

    http://www.yeezy-shoes.us.com/ Yeezy Shoes

    http://www.nikehuarache.us/ nike huarache

    http://www.kedsshoesforwomen.com/ Keds Shoes For Women

    http://www.yeezy.com.co/ Yeezy Shoes

    http://www.nikeairmax.us/ Nike Air Max 2017

    http://www.outlettoms.us/ Toms Outlet

    http://www.ultraboostuncaged.us/ Ultra Boost

    http://www.mlb-jerseys.us/ MLB Jerseys

    http://www.adidas-nmds.com/ Adidas NMD

    http://www.oakleyoutlet.net.co/ Oakley Outlet

    http://www.rboutlet.org/ Ray Ban Outlet

    http://www.katespadeoutlets.us/ Kate Spade Outlet

    http://www.adidas-outlet.org/ Adidas Outlet

    http://www.nikeairmax-90.com/ Nike Air Max 90

    http://www.timberland-outlet.us/ Timberland Outlet

    http://www.rayban-sunglasses.ca/ Ray-Ban Sunglasses

    http://www.adidas-nmd.org.uk/ Adidas UK

    http://www.adidaseqt.com/ Adidas EQT

    http://www.ralphlaurens.org.uk/ Ralph Lauren UK

    http://www.jordan4.us/ Jordan 4

    http://www.cheapjordan-shoes.com/ Cheap Jordan

    http://www.adidasnmdoutlet.com/ NMD Outlet

  • #4

    best service (Wednesday, 28 June 2017 23:52)

    Quickbooks Support Number @ http://www.quickbookssupportphone-number.com/

  • #5

    best service (Thursday, 29 June 2017 00:02)

    Quicken Support Number @ http://www.quicken.support-phonenumber.com/

  • #6

    best service (Thursday, 29 June 2017 00:05)

    Sage Support Number @ http://www.sage.support-phonenumber.com/

  • #7

    Best Services (Thursday, 29 June 2017 07:02)







What happens now?

Now that the Olympics is done and dusted I’ve got to make some big decisions. I have refused to make any plans until the Olympics were done and now it’s time to shape my short, mid and long term future.


Read More 56 Comments





Progress – How the hell do you measure it?

Judo is one of the easiest sports to make you feel miserable when you are not winning, and the complexity of the sport can lead practitioners to feel like they are getting nowhere or even going backwards.

Read More 20 Comments