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Posted in: General

What is coaching?

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  • Richard2591

    Yesterday I was asked by an experienced coach educator what coaching actually is, and for a short pause I couldn't give him an answer. When I considered the key factors and perhaps roles of a coach, only was I then able to expand upon my ideas. 

    What's the role of the coach? You could argue supporting, helping, educating, facilitating, encouraging, creating, inspiring etc...

    What's the role of the coach in a certain environment? To produce professional players or to provide an amazing experience for players? Are you coaching in the 'here and now' i.e. senior 1st team or for the future? Or does the future not exist?

    Why is a coach called a coach and not a bus? Different types of journeys?

    Lastly...! An article on the greek definitions for coaching:


  • StevieP

    Hi Richard

    This is like one of those really akward questions you get asked by your youngest child and find difficult to answer!! My most recent one was being asked by my daughter - If God made the world, who made God? Gulp!!

    Anyway, back to your post. I think you could ask ten coaches this question and get 10 very different answers. Much depends on the environment the coach operates in, their coaching specialism and as you indicate, the level a coach operates at, youth, amateur, elite as examples.

    For me it's about facilitating athletes' (and others) growth and development through raising their self awareness. Although it's not always that simple

    I'm looking forward to hearing what other people's thoughts are on this

  • Coach_Browning

    Oh the wonders of the English language ! laughing

    Again to use other examples..what is art? What is music? No matter what the definition given there is always something that doenst fit that mould. I remember visiting an art museum in Brussels where one of the exhibits was a fork wrapped in tin foil. Not a picture of it...but an actual fork wrapped (very well I have to admit) in tin foil. Is that art? Some people obviously thought so.

    Its the same with coaching. Give one definition and there are plenty of people who would fall outside of that.

    An interesting thing for me here is the whole Coach v Manager idea. You tend to say football manager rather than football coach when talking about the top level teams. 

    Maybe this holds the key to the definition? Does the difference between manager and coach explain what the coach is supposed to do? Can you only coach a player/team to a certain level at which point it becomes management?

    I am reminded of successful College American Football coaches (e.g. Nick Saben) who had limited success at the NFL level as the relationship between the Head "Coach" and the players was totally different.

  • Richard2591

    So based on the assumption (which I agree on) that there's a difference between managing and coaching, what are the key characteristics or roles as a coach?

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