Becoming a coach can be a daunting task. There are specific skills required to be a capable coach. These skills may come naturally, but some may not be so obvious. Develop these skills to become the best coach you can be.

Pay Attention

It is easy to become caught up in a game that is going on. Focusing on that moment of play may be the only thing on your mind. Take a bit of your attention away from that and focus on the bigger picture. Draw attention on to things that are going on around you besides the game. Your players off the field could have a better insight into how to approach the other team. Consider their input and alter your strategy accordingly. Engage in active listening. Give your attention to your players or worried parents to let them know you are listening to their concerns. The answer to your problems could be right in front of you. Pay attention to your surroundings, and you may find a solution that you did not expect.

Give Feedback

Don’t keep telling your players that they are doing a good job. Be specific about things that they can improve on. The more feedback you can give them the better. Observe the way people interact in certain situations and approach feedback with an understanding mindset. Don’t let all of your feedback be negative. Be sure to give positive feedback to individuals and the entire team often. Feedback can often feel like harsh criticism. Check your body language and tone to ensure you are giving off the right message when giving feedback. Players will appreciate you for your honesty.

Empathy

If you pay attention enough to a person, you will begin to empathize with them. Being aware of another person’s emotional state can have significant benefits. You will be able to approach them more efficiently. Giving feedback will be easier if you know how someone is feeling. By showing empathy, you will be able to connect with your players on a deeper level. Trust is formed when showing empathy. Trust between a player and a coach reaps abundant benefits in the long term.

Reflection and Analysis

Reflection and analysis are critical tools when coaching. Reflection and analysis can help you in developing a better strategy for future games and practices. Analysis can give you insight into what worked and didn’t work for your team. Through analysis, you can adjust players to better place them in a more effective role for your team.

All of these skills make a great coach. Consider implementing these skills in your next practice and monitor the results.