Coach (sport)


Coach (sport)
Senior coach Ross Lyon addresses the St Kilda Football Club players in the Australian Football League prior to the 2009 AFL Grand Final

In sports, a coach is an individual involved in the direction, instruction and training of the operations of a sports team or of individual sportspeople.

Contents

Staff

A coach, particularly in a major operation, is traditionally aided in his/her efforts by one or more assistant coaches known as the assistant coaching staff and team. The staff may include coordinators, strength and fitness specialists, and trainers.

Coaching in association football

In football, the duties of a coach can vary depending on the level they are coaching at and the country they are coaching in, amongst others. In youth football, the primary objective of a coach is to aid players in the development of their technical skills, with emphasis on the enjoyment and fair play of the game rather than physical or tactical development.[1] In recent decades, efforts have been made by governing bodies in various countries to overhaul their coaching structures at youth level with the aim of encouraging coaches to put player development and enjoyment ahead of winning matches.

In professional football, the role of the coach or trainer is limited to the training and development of a club's "first team" in most countries. The coach is aided by a number of assistant coaches, one of which carries the responsibility for the training and preparation of the goalkeepers. The coach is also assisted by medical staff and athletic preparators.

The medium to long term strategy of a football club, with regard to transfer policies, youth development and other sporting matters, is not the business of a coach in most footballing countries. The presence of a sporting director is designed to give the medium term development of a club the full attention of one professional, allowing the coach to focus on improving and producing performances from the players under their charge.[2] The system also provides a certain level of protection against overspending on players in search of instant success. In British football, the director of a professional football team is more commonly awarded the position of manager, a role that combines the duties of coach and sporting director.

The responsibilities of a European football (soccer) manager tend to be divided up in North American professional sports, where the teams usually have a separate general manager and head coach, although occasionally a person may fill both roles of general manager and head coach. While the first team coach in football (soccer) is usually an assistant to the manager who actually holds the real power, the American style general manager and head coach have clearly distinct areas of responsibilities. For example, a typical European football manager would have the final say on player lineups and contract negotiations, while in American sports these duties would be handled separately by the head coach and general manager, respectively.Also sports can be changed due to a coach deciding on the game.

Coaching in baseball

Baseball, at least at the professional level in North America, is unique in that the individual who heads the coaching staff does not use the title of "head coach", but is instead called the field manager. Baseball "coaches" at that level are members of the coaching staff under the overall supervision of the manager, with each coach having a specialized role. The baseball field manager is essentially equivalent to head coaches in other American professional sports leagues; player transactions are handled by the general manager. The term "manager" used without qualification almost always refers to the field manager, while the general manager is often called the GM.

At amateur levels, the terminology is more similar to that of other sports. The person known as the "manager" in professional leagues is generally called the "head coach" in amateur leagues; this terminology is standard in U.S. college baseball.

Coaching in the United States

All major U.S. collegiate sports have associations for their coaches to engage in professional development activities, but professional coaches tend to have less formal associations, and have never developed into a group resembling a union in the way that athletic players in many leagues have.

Many coaching contracts allow the termination of the coach with little notice and without specific cause, usually in the case of high-profile coaches with the payment of a financial settlement. U.S. collegiate coaching contracts require termination without the payment of a settlement if the coach is found to be in serious violation of named rules, usually with regard to the recruiting or retention of players in violation of amateur status.

Coaching is a very fickle profession, and a reversal of the team's fortune often finds last year's "Coach of the Year" to be seeking employment in the next.

Many coaches are former players of the sport themselves, and coaches of professional sports teams are sometimes retired players.

On some teams, the principal coach (usually referred to as the head coach) has little to do with the development of details such as techniques of play or placement of players on the playing surface, leaving this to assistants while concentrating on larger issues such as recruitment and organizational development.

Successful coaches often become as well or even better-known than the athletes they coach, and in recent years have come to command high salaries and have agents of their own to negotiate their contracts with the teams. Often the head coach of a well-known team has his or her own radio and television programs and becomes the primary "face" associated with the team.

Preparation for coaching

Coaching courses and training seminars are increasingly available. One important role of coaches, especially youth coaches, is establishing safety for school-age athletes. This requires knowledge of CPR, prevention of dehydration, and following current concussion management guidelines.[3][4]

See also

References

  • Cassidy, Jones and Potrac, Understanding Sports Coaching: The Social, Cultural and Pedagogical Foundations of Coaching Practice, Routledge, 2008, ISBN 978-0-415-44272-5
  • Jones, Hughes and Queenston, An Introduction to Sports Coaching, Routledge, 2007, ISBN 978-0-415-41131-8

External links


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