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Top Tips for coaches for developing personal and social skills

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Top Tips for coaches for developing personal and social skills

It is now more important than ever to consider why people come to your coaching session. By understanding peoples personal and social aspirations for taking part in sport you can ensure that you are able to provide the best sporting experience so that people keep coming back and make being active in sport a habit for life. sports coach UK uses the ‘C’ system as a way of providing a model for coaches to help you understand what is meant by personal and social skills, and capabilities.

Here is a simple summary of the ‘C’ system:

Connection – helping people connect with each other and the benefits of their chosen activity

Confidence – Ensuring adults and young people understand how to define success and how they can get better

Competence – Coaching for the level of competence identified by individuals and coach

Creativity – Encouraging people to find their own ways to practice, play and perform

Character – Respecting the codes of sport. Having standard for correct behaviour a sense of right and wrong and integrity

Caring and Compassion – A sense of sympathy and empathy for others.

Using the ‘C’ system I have listed some tips I hope you will find useful in your coaching.


  • Find out why participants are attending your session and what their basic motivations, goals and aspirations for attending are.

  • Plan time into your session for socialising; consider making this part of your recovery and rest periods. Take part in this socialising time yourself and use the time to get to know your participants and find out how they are feeling about their experience.

  • Think about having regular family and friends’ sessions to include peoples’ ‘circle of influence’. It is a great opportunity to recruit new people to your sessions and promote what you are doing


  • Ensure that everyone has achieved some form of success in your session, no matter how small.

  • Praise your participants often and in a specific and meaningful way. Everyone likes to be told they have done well or achieved a target or goal. Try praising an individual quietly as well as enthusiastically to a whole group.

  • Remember to praise effort as well as achievement of an individual’s personal goals



  • Include skill development in game based activities.

  • Explain the basics of a game quickly so that everyone can get playing as soon as possible. Not all participants will want to immediately know all the rules before starting to play.

  • Consider using games and activities from FUNdamentals in adult sessions to refresh and develop basic physical competencies.

  • Help people to remember other people's names by using them frequently yourself as a coach.


  • Set clear expectations for codes of behaviour.

  • Have a plan for what you might do if poor adult behaviour is exhibited during your session. Do you know how to resolve the common annoyances for people in your session?

  • Consider what would the consequences be for those adults demonstrating poor behaviour?

Next Steps

If you found these tips useful and you’re interested in learning more about the ‘C’ system why not book on to one of our practical workshops? 

Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have any you’d like to share with your fellow coaches? Share them by leaving a comment below.

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