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Posted in: General

Coaching Philosophy's

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  • pippaglen

    I'm currently taking my next step in athletics coaching and upping my game to become a throw specific coach, Whilst trawling threw the masses of paperwork, videos and assessments I stumbled on the subject "Training methods and Philosophy's." I just wanted to share some of the of these statements that I was learning. You may or may not agree with but I'm intrigued as to whether coaches from other sporting back grounds have the same coaching Philosophy's or different coaching Philosophy's, training methods they would like to share. 

    • " It's not a case of whether a coaching philosophy is right or wrong but if one is more or less effective in a given context"

    • " Every Philosphy has strengths and challanges"
    • " Every Coaching Philosphy has, Strengths, Limitations, Associated, Challenges "
    • "Arguments over training methods often come down to conflicting coaching philosophy"
    • " Basing Coaching Philosophy's on fact sometimes in not possible.

    It would be great to hear others ideas and opinions. 

  • Nollzer

    Coaching philosophies are normally firmly rooted in the value system and life outlook of the coaches. I personally, try to simplify mine down to Four drivers, Honesty,hard work, excellence and continuous improvement. The latter was inspired by the Japanese management and production philosophy and practices, namely Kaizen. Basically, the elimination of waste, continuous improvement and asking Why. 

    The japanese thought process of simplicity and regarding mistakes as opportunities to learn and improve their processes is particularly helpful in coaching.

    Personally, I believe you can not be a great coach unless you have a good philosophy based on good values.

  • Hi Emma

    I think that each coach has a personal coaching philosophy based on their own unique experience of the sport and life in general, their own coach training( I think your starting philosophy probably comes from the person/organisation that trained you) and the other coaches in the organisation/club where you start coaching.  Then as you grow as a coach your personal philosophy develops.

    I coach orienteering.  My philosophy is that I like to put my athletes in an environment where they can learn for themselves.  I aim to support them by providing the right learning opportunities within a structured framework whilst also being responsive to their individual needs.  I aim to improve their performance by challenging them with appropriate questioning to examine how they can develop as athletes.  Obviously when I have complete beginners my approach is slightly different to when I am dealing with more experienced athletes but this is not a different philosophy just a different way of implementing the same philosophy.

    Another pillar of my philosophy is that orienteering/sport in general should be fun - winning doesn't matter, rather taking part, enjoying the experience and working towards personal goals.

    Finally I like to think of my athletes as people.  How participating in the sport will help them to grow as an individual e.g. improve fitness, raise self esteem, foster independence etc.

    You may find some of these ideas interesting http://athleteassessments.com/coaching-philosophies-from-sports-coaches/  I don't agree with them all e.g. one coach talks about molding( he is an American so excuse the spelling) his athletes but that may be because he is teaching a team sport although one of the other team coaches has a different perspective - fascinating!

    Happy coaching!


  • Hi Val - I do like the simplicity of your philosophy - mine is a lot more fuzzy smile  When you say 'excellence' do you mean you as a coach or your athletes?  If the latter what happens to those who cannot achieve excellence or do you define excellence differently for each individual?


  • pippaglen

    Hi Suzanne

    I would just like to clarify that those philosophy's are not what I use those are from a course that I'm currently plunging myself into, I was wondering if any other coaches use these Ideas or have Ideas of there own that they would like to share, I wanted to see the familiarities and differences between Coaches philosophy's.

    I'm Philosophy is to be a make sessions fun, exciting, inclusive and with a competitive edge for all age's and to keep athletes coming back.

  • Nollzer

    Hi, Suzanne,

    The four pillar words refer completely to my personal coaching philosophy and modus operandi. As this is within my control. Focus on what, I can do. The participants' attitudes, behaviours and norms are covered by the team's culture. The latter is formulated following detailed consultation and input from the players. They may very well have a culture which is very close to the ethos of my coaching philosophy. Once again, I constrain them to four words, for clarity and focus. My coaching job is to facilitate the implementation of the team's culture, so it is not just empty rhetoric.

  • CoachOwen

    My Coaching Philosophy is built around the 5 C's; 

    Competence:- Showing your own & developing theirs. 

    Confidence:- Once they believe you are competent, they will become confident in both your & their own ability. 

    Connection:- This will lead to them feeling connected to you, their peers & the team / ethos. 

    Creativity:- Allowing this to flourish will help in building Competence, Confidence & Connection.

    Character & Caring:- Creating a positive & supportive learning environment is vital in fostering the other C's.  Always Remember that often they will be doing their best at that given moment. 

    Regards Owen. 

  • pippaglen

    Hi Owen

    Thank you for your reply. I really love this philosophy it's so simple and easy to understand. This is so simple to use.


  • MarkDay

    Hi Emma,

    This is a really interesting subject and discussion point thank you for starting it...

    The interesting thing I've found in exploring coaching philosophies is how easy it is to use nice words and well scripted texts to convey an image and ideology towards coaching practice.

    This comes from my own experiences and observing others. To help me understand my philosophy of coaching I've recorded and reviewed my own sessions and had external parties observe me and feedback on my practice. 

    The biggest lesson I learnt from this experience has been that coaching philosophy in practice is embedded in your values and you can't consistently be who you aren't.  As well as constructing a statement of intent I will continue to explore/identify philosophy in practice.

    I think it's difficult to disagree with the four statements above and if more coaches were open and accepting of them, it would provide a fabulous foundation for sharing and learning through community of practice. Something not common in my sport!!

    Fortunately we're part of this awesome group 😊

  • pippaglen

    Thanks Suzanne I will take a look at the link you have shared and post my thoughts. laughing

  • pippaglen

    Thank you for your reply Mark

    In coaching we all have our own coaching Philosophy's and coaching idea's not all coach's agree with each others Philosophy's. I feel if we all had the same ideas then the coaching world would be a very boring place laughing.  It has taken me  some time to find and work with my Philosophy's. I have observed other coaches and taken ideas as well as left ideas as I felt that some philosophy's just wasn't for me at that time this doesn't mean I wouldn't use them in years to come. 

    I'm a little less educated than most coaches on here, I've never studied at university but have put 100 percent into my studying and CPD no matter what course I have been on,  I will continue to put the effort in as I feel this made me into the coach I am today, wanting to participate, helping and guiding others and sharing coaching ideas which is why I joined Connected coaches in the first instance. The word Philosophy was a big word to me and never really made any sense but with lots of reading and observing others I began to find my very own and started to understand what it really meant. My Philosophies are probably not to every one's taste but like I said life would be dull and boring if we all had the same philosophies.

  • AndyP

    The day I stop learning is the day I quit coaching. Beware of arrogance.


    I expect commitment and in exchange I will give commitment.


    Coach the person first, then the athlete, then the event.


    Any programme can make an athlete tired. A good one should make an athlete better.

  • Coach_Browning

    Could have sworn that I had already replied to this but seems not...

    I think that many of the key points here have been made. Your coaching philosophy is a personal thing and reflects your core beliefs/values. These are the non-negotiable bits.

    For me these also have to be true. I.e. don't try to pick up bits of philosophies from elsewhere and try to apply them to yourself. You cant mould yourself to a philosophy that you want, as players will see through the falsehood. That is not to say you cant, through a period of self-reflection, look to change yourself, but rather that your philosophy has to hold true to you at all times. As you change then so does it.

    Another thing to think about is something touched on in here...what is the philosophy of the team/the sport. These all need to marry together with your own or you can have the 'best' philosophy in the world but not have the success you would associate with it. Why are your players there? How does your philosophy sit with them?

  • kraichura

    This topic is one that I find interesting. I've thought a few times about what my coaching philosophy is (or would be) without actually determining an explicit answer. As Mark says, I think your philosophy should be borne out in your behaviours, so I like the idea of videoing sessions. An alternative would be to survey layers (anonymously) about the coach and ask what they think his/her philosophies might be or similar.

    I also think the point Simon makes, and another comment further up are important: That's to say that a general coaching philosophy or a belief system with regards to sport may be slightly different to a team you coach's philosophy. That's partly because one may be more performance-driven than the other and also because a good team philosophy will be formulated by the players and whilst there are likely to be some similarities with the coach's philosophies, the probability of a 100% match is small. In fact, I am looking forward to a pre-season meeting/planning session with my Under 18s team this year, where, for the first time, I will have a team/squad who are mostly committed, good players and I'll be turning over large aspects of how the team is run to them - e.g. leadership group/captains/captain/vice-captain, team's philosophy, code of conduct type thing (if they believe they need or want one etc.)

    For what it's worth, the things I would include are:

    Work hard - Every player, no matter their ability level, can work hard for the team and for their own pride, even if (especially if) they're having a bad day on the pitch

    Ownership - players need to take ownership of their own development (and more widely in life) if they truly want to excel and improve

    Opportunity - I/the club/the environment will provide them the opportunity and it is down to them to take advantage of the opportunity (this ties in to ownership)

    The collective > the individual - The best TEAMS will tend to beat the best players

    Fun/enjoyment - players need to enjoy the sport they play, whether they win, lose or draw. They need to enjoy spending time in each other's company. This isn't just young players, but seniors too. Remember that people give up their free time and pay to play your sport. IS your team a place they want to be 1/2/3/4 times a week?

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