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Top Coaches Have One, Do You? Coaching Philosophy Fundamentals & Developing Yours Find a phenomenal coach with a wealth of experience (and full trophy cabinet), and ask them what their coaching philosophy is. They will immediately provide you with a succinct account of what principles they adhere to and the standards they hold. Ask a mid-career coach with a developing reputation the same question, and they’ll likely articulate their vision and how it’s evolving. Ask a fledgling coach and they will look at you quizzically and shrug their shoulders. A coaching philosophy is a set of values and beliefs, which determine why and how you behave as a coach. It is developed from your values, personal experiences, the knowledge you have accumulated, and your coaching style. All of this directly impacts your coaching practices.

“When you have clarity about ‘what you are all about’, decisions and what actions to take become clear and are consistent.” - Bo Hanson

“I know what it would take for me to become a better person as well as a better coach. Before I thought coaching was just knowing how to play Basketball, but it’s more than that, it’s understanding others, being able to listen, and knowing what your objectives are.” - Direct quote from one of Dr. David P. Hedlund’s students

St. John’s University New York’s Assistant Professor Dr. David P. Hedlund knows the benefits of a well-developed coaching philosophy, both from an academic perspective and from his personal experience as an international soccer player and coach. “The nuances that comprise coaching philosophies are subtle and complex but all are integral to the success of a coach.” A clear philosophy creates consistency in your approach, enables you to prioritize those areas which create your desired results, and easily make high quality decisions and actions. This consistent behavior during practices and competition also develops the trust and respect vital for a quality coach-athlete relationship. As we know from the Olympic research, this relationship is critical and a significant determining factor in achieving athletic success (measured by medals and PBs). In Dr. Hedlund’s ‘Theories and Techniques of Effective Coaching’ class, developing the student’s coaching philosophy is a key

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People + Sport 02  

The Education and Professional Development edition features Real People in Sport, Flipping the Classroom, What Employers really want from Gr...

People + Sport 02  

The Education and Professional Development edition features Real People in Sport, Flipping the Classroom, What Employers really want from Gr...

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