A Coaching Support Network is something sadly many coaches either do not think about or feel they cannot get access to. A Coaching Support Network brings together a group of coaches or knowledgeable people to provide comment, guidance and input for a coach to draw upon. A good Coaching Support Network is indispensable for coaches as it provides the wealth of minds that can be tapped for a coach’s immediate challenges and issues faced.
The advantages of a Coaching Support Network are very long. Have you ever heard the advice that if you want to be successful that you need to be around people who are already successful? Well the same is true for coaching. By having a select group of coaches and others who have expertise that will help you in your coaching role you can start to develop different perspectives and a wider understanding that is just not possible by yourself.
Secondly, must human beings can read and learn through reading watching and doing. However, to develop a deeper understanding and awareness of the topics learnt a person must have access to stimulating and challenging debate. By having this support network in a safe and supportive environment, coaches will have an opportunity to put forward their ideas and issues before receiving guidance or possible instruction.
A common problem seen by educational providers across the globe is that coaches can gain access to materials which provide instructions or training on developing your coaching philosophy. But what these resources lack is the capacity to develop a coach’s ability to refine, clarify and reconstruct their coaching philosophy on an ongoing basis. A student of the game of basketball a coach’s philosophies should be constantly up for argument and debate. A Coaching Support Network can provide a vehicle for this much needed constructive conversation which asks a coach to defend their ideas and reasons. It is this aspect which gives the greatest benefit as to why every coach needs a Coaching Support Network.
Another great benefit of a Coaching Support Network is the ability for a coach in one country to gain a truly diverse and wide perspective by having coaches and other individuals with specialised skills in other countries. This is truly a fantastic aspect of the Coaching Support Network as it is so hard to find out about trends in various countries unless you visit tournaments or other significant events. The exercise of finding out about these trends even for very experienced coaches who are well connected can be close to impossible.
Imagine having instant access to a library of tried and tested plays, drills, program notes, text books and media resources. Well a Coaching Support Network can do this for you. By selecting a group of more senior coaches then yourself you will automatically gain access these coaches long developed resource banks. A quick e-mail to your Coaching Support Network is all it will take to gain comment and feedback about a drill on a facet of your team’s development you are having trouble with. Just make you select coaches for your group who will be willing to share resources.
There can also be some issues that each coach should be aware of in regards to a Coaching Support Network. A common problem is not selecting the right people of your support group. You want to find coaches who have more experience or people with expertise in areas which is greater than your own. By doing this you will be challenged and continue to develop. Additionally, try to select your ‘members’ of this group with a variety of coaching styles, perspectives and backgrounds. Otherwise you will find it limiting in the benefit to you.
As you develop as a coach and continue to define your understanding you will need to add to the people you have in your Coaching Support Network. If you fail to do this you will find again as mention earlier your development can be stifled or not happen as rapidly. As a coach your time is valuable, and being able to maximise your output for the input is going to become more and more important as you move through your coaching career and face more demanding roles with more and more elite players and programs.
Finally, as a coach to use your Coaching Support Network to its full capacity you need to expand your thinking beyond just having other coaches involved. Sports psychologists, sports doctors, team managers and sports management professionals can all contribute something on a variety of levels you will need to be aware of to be a truly well rounded coach. At the elite levels of the sport a coach manages people first and foremost, but as a coach you will need to be able to engage with the professional services your team will be using to be able monitor and manage its development fully to reach its maximum potential.
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