Coaching Coaches

Contrary to what you may have heard, not all volunteer coaches are great at coaching.  As the Head Coach you need to be aware of the strengths and weakness’ of your staff.  To an athlete a coach is someone who they can trust and that they will learn from through a specific form of instruction.  A coach is NOT someone who sits back and yells out random things that have no meaning.  Evaluate your athletes and determine the different skill levels you have.  Once you have determined your needs then you can work on pairing coaches with athletes at specific levels.  It’s important to talk with your coaches and find out what they are comfortable teaching before making these pairing.  It probably goes without saying but most athletes respond better to someone who is not their mom or dad.

With the start of the season only a week away its time to meet with your coaches and begin laying out expectations and goals for the season.  Spend some time demonstrating the practices that you want them to be teaching.  Ask questions and draw up a coaching plan that everyone will use.  Consistency in coaching is key to steady improvement among athletes.  I have seen too many coaches contradict each other on the field and ultimately the athlete pays the price.  Make sure your coaches know what they are coaching and that they are confident in their teachings.  The athletes will respond positively to someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Now is the time to start thinking about off-season training for your coaches.  Find out who plans to be on your staff for the distant future and invest time with them by attending clinics and seminars throughout the year.  There are many private instructors that know a lot about shooting but aren’t necessarily the best teachers.  Make sure your coaches are not only learning the sport of shooting trap but also how to teach it. 

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