3 Common Coaching Styles

There are different coaching styles that we need to consider. In general, coaching is about how we communicate and how we do things. Here are common coaching styles:

Authoritarian Style (Dictator) : Authoritarians don’t need any input from athletes and they make all the decisions. These coaches expect athletes to do things correctly. They need to listen, understand, comply and implement all the given commands. Feedback is only about providing warnings and corrections. Authoritarian style is useful when athletes need structure and disciplines. Coaches could also get responses quicker from athletes and they can be entirely organized. Unfocused athletes could also have a clear idea on what they need to do.

However, athletes would need to adjust themselves to an authoritarian coaching style and they could feel somewhat powerless. For example, athletes may not understand initial instructions and this failure could result in unwanted repercussion, such as harsh verbal warning. Training in an authoritarian situation could hurt athletes’ self-esteem and confidence. Athletes will have no initiatives and they would be a little more than robots. Authoritarian environment could be more manageable for athletes if coaches have reasonable attitudes, but most likely they are not.

Casual Style (Supervisor): Coaches with casual styles present less instructions, discipline and directions. Athletes who prefer to have initiatives often prefer this coaching style, but this could be less than ideal for some athletes who tend to become lazy when they don’t have get guidance and direction from coaches.

This coaching is certainly useful when athletes can become much more excited and motivated. In sports that require quick decision-making and problem-solving processes, casual coaching style could help athletes to take initiatives. However, casual coaches should have the knowledge and skills to properly guide their athletes. If not, discipline issues could become unaddressed and they will turn into serious problem if not controlled. In fact, it is possible for good athletes to become better, while bad athletes become worse. Being a supervisor isn’t about being a babysitter. Coaches with casual style should have complete confidence in their players.

Cooperative style (Teacher): Coaches with cooperative style tend to share the overall decision making process and they seek to form a team. When setting out goals and objectives, coaches will do it with their athletes. This approach will help them to get more respect and athletes could be more motivated to achieve the desired results. Cooperative coaches also have an interest in their athletes outside the training sessions themselves. By being personally closer with their athletes, mutual respect can be established much more easily.

In this situation, players can take a much more active part in their training process and their level of commitment can generally be strengthened. Quality information can be exchanged more easily, because athletes and coaches can have better relationships. However, cooperative coaches may often need to restrain themselves, by focusing on the training itself and not talk too much with their athletes. Athletes should also get a structured training program and a sufficient amount of enforced discipline to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

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