The one element that differentiates a good coach is enthusiasm. Unfortunately, one often sees this one simple ingredient missing time and again. One might call it passion, positive energy, desire, drive. When I observe coaches, the first quality I look for is their enthusiasm. Are they totally lost in the present moment of teaching because they love coaching, and they care about their students learning the objectives for the class?
It will be very obvious by watching their body language, listening to them speak, and listening to them ask the students questions in guiding them to learning answers for themselves. If they are totally passionate about their work, they manage time aggressively. That means they are detailed oriented and do not want to waste a single precious moment of the class. To be that way, coaches plan meticulously, are detail oriented, and are constantly observing how well their students are learning and making adjustments to their plan on the fly if necessary.
At Premier, amongst many different qualities on which we assess coaches, the minimum we want to see are children active (no standing around for undue amounts of time, no long lines etc.), children engaged in the class (having fun), and children learning the objectives. If coaches are not enthusiastic, there is a very good chance they have not done all the other tasks that make a successful lesson.
The enthusiastic coaches know how to adapt to challenges like space constraints, changes in the number of students expected, lack of equipment, and having less time. They can lift the class simply with their energy. They know how to adapt because of their overwhelming enthusiasm for the job. They want to coach and no constraint will keep their students from learning. They want to coach so passionately that they are willing to stay current on trends and constantly improve their knowledge. They want to coach so passionately that they keep evaluating themselves so that their standard of teaching continues to improve.
Besides passion, sports coaching today have become as complex as teaching an academic subject. It requires continuous professional development. Real dedication and commitment that is lifelong. That demands a financial investment in the same manner our country has invested to develop academic teachers who are bench marked globally.
If one observes a coach who is not enthusiastic, lacks passion, seems disinterested, or keeps doing the same things over and over and one can easily make out that the students are bored, make a change!
Of course, sports is my passion. I want to see our nation fit and healthy. My colleagues at Premier in the UK, and I happen to know through study of a great deal of research and more than 20 years of experience as a company, the younger we start providing the highest quality of coaching, the healthier and fitter, more athletic and more academically engaged students will be.
CEO of Premier Sports, India