Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and approachable coaches are a vital ingredient of a vibrant and successful club and organisation.

Your coaches will form an important part of your overall offer to existing and potential members and participants and will have a significant impact on their experience. It is therefore important to have the right coaches at your club.

On a personal level, becoming involved in any form of coaching can be exciting and fulfilling. Coaches often have a positive influence on other people’s lives and potentially their lifelong involvement in physical activity and sport. They may even develop a future champion.

Coaching has all too often been considered to be solely about the development of athletes. It has largely focused on performance, analysis and encouraging players to achieve their full potential. However, more and more recently it has been demonstrated that coaching has a much bigger role to play.

Research has shown that there are many skills that an individual will develop through coaching and volunteering. All of these are useful in other situations - whether that’s at work, during other volunteering activities or in day-to-day life. Coaching has also been shown to have mental and physical benefits for people.

When finding new coaches it can be tempting to just think about who is available at the time you need them. However, it is more important to consider the type of person you want and what motivations and behaviours you want them to have. For more information about coach behaviours click here.

Having a diverse range of coaches as well as inclusive coaching practices and activities will help to ensure every member/participant, regardless of their health, ability, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation or ethnic background has the opportunity to take part if they choose to.

The coaching needs of your club/organisation will vary depending on a number of factors including:

  • Your goals and ambitions
  • The number of members/participants you have
  • Your sport
  • Your members, players and participants’ requirements
  • Your required player to coach ratios

You should review your coaching provision regularly to make sure it is adequate and meets your needs. Areas to review include:

  • Appropriate and up to date qualifications
  • Appropriate insurance cover
  • Minimum coaching age
  • Safeguarding children and vulnerable groups

These will vary for each sport so you should check with your appropriate sport’s National Governing Body for further information. 

It is also important to encourage your coaches to develop their understanding of participants’ needs and motivations, so they can tailor support and activities to them. This will support them to continue improving the experience of participants and members, which in turn will support retention.

Becoming involved in coaching can be extremely rewarding far beyond the field of play. Coaches have the ability to play a positive role in an individual’s life not only through encouraging their involvement in sport and activity but also impacting on their overall wellbeing. There is a well recognised and longstanding relationship between the benefits of sport and the benefit it has on mental health. Research also indicates that coached participants are more likely to stick at a sport, be active for longer and try new activities. So, this can have a very positive effect on a club/organisation’s membership numbers.

Some of the key benefits that coaching and exercise can have on individuals include:

  • Improved mood - release of ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins, which can calm anxiety and lift mood
  • Reduced risk of depression
  • Reduces stress
  • Clearer frame of mind
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Improved confidence

Most coaches are more interested in recognition of their coaching rather than personal rewards. It is important to consider how you recognise your coaches. Here are some ideas to say thank you:

  • Simply say thank you!
  • Send a thank you card
  • Write them a personal note at the end of a season
  • Give them a special mention at any club events
  • Nominate your coaches for an award
  • Include an acknowledgement of the coach in any reports or press releases, not just the participant/members
  • Run a social event for your coaches
  • Create a coaching wall of fame
  • Run a coach of the month scheme
  • Say thank you through social media

Advertising the recognition you give your coaches more widely in your community will help show your club as a supportive and welcoming place to be, which could lead to more members, more coaches and higher retention levels.

Coaching is the perfect way for people to express their passion for sport and play an active role in their club.

There are many different ways you can help your coaches to develop and some don’t cost a thing! Coaches learn in different ways and therefore a mix of learning opportunities is often the key to success. Effective coaches are always looking at ways in which they can improve.

For more information on how to get involved visit UK Coaching’s website: Here you will find all the necessary information on how to get involved, how your coaches can improve their coaching and discover more about the learning and development opportunities available.

National Governing Bodies of sport often provide a range of development opportunities for coaches so be sure to check these too.

A common question asked by many clubs/organisations is what funding is out there for coaches? UK Coaching have compiled a list of known funding and bursary schemes for coaches. You can find out more here:

Rosie, a surf coach, uses her positive and motivational coaching style to encourage all participants to enjoy themselves. Check out the video below!

Last modified: Sunday, 27 June 2021, 4:21 PM