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I'd be really interested to hear from coaches on how they measure their success as a coach? Is it simply your win/loss ratio, league position or awards, or do you look for something else- player recruitment/retention, player development (moving into 'elite' groups), a great team spirit?
Wow, that's a can of worms you've opened up there! ha ha
I'm quite a simple person and just judge my success as a coach by two factors
1. My first measurement of success is that every player walks away smiling (cheesey I know but I'm a big beliver of having fun, life can be too serious!)
2. They have learnt something new or benefitted in some way - this could be to do with the sport (specific technique), socially (improved thier communication skills), made a new freind etc..
The detail in the two areas may look differnt depending on age range or type of activity (particpation, talent) but ultimaelty I belive that coaching is about developing players but also people.
The interesting question to ask yourself is how do your players/athletes judge your success as a coach? and should this influence the way you coach and judge your own success?
Great question Paul - and I agree with Paul T with many of his comments.
It comes down to your philsophy and outlook as a coach. I feel that it is about the development of the individual as a player and as a person, and within team environments, the development of the group, groups within the group as well as the individual. As Paul T mentioned, we are not just coaching players, we are coaching people. My nephew is part of the London Broncos Academy, and they have the philosophy around being part of the scheme makes you a better person, as well as a better player.
I remember attending CPD courses a few years ago, and the course leader used the phrase, "What Does Good Look Like?", and it is something I still ask today, both to my performers, and to the coaches I work with. Good for some will be winning the tournament, for others it will be playing at the tournament, and some will see it as just being part of the squad, or even just attending the session.
My first measure is do the players come back, and stay with the session, and seem to have fun.
The second is are they improving? My big feeling here is that they are improving against themselves, and not measured against others (this will inevitably happen, but players develop at differnet rates)
The third measure is is performance improving? This will be deemed by many by winning, trophies, league position, but as a coach you should be able to see an improvement in performance....
Depending on the level you're coaching you could be very simplistic about this ... do they come back the following week? do they bring a friend(s)? are they still coming six months later?
This is retention and recruitment ... the first question I would ask is why. Is it because they are welcomed, feel engaged, have fun, are challenged, make friends, learn new skills, are encouraged, or just have some space to be themselves?
Then explore how ... what has the coach done to make all of the above happen? How have they behaved, planned their sessions, engaged with the players, created the environment?
If there is a well thought out process that links these two area together I think you will have the basis of what successful coaching could look like. What does anybody else think?
This is before I get onto posing the question of how you try and measure/monitor/track player learning!!!!
My chosen pathway within my coaching career involves coaching golf at grass roots level, Club, County, National and Inclusive coaching. I firmly believe the main ingredient which I strive for is to increase confidence levels and self esteem. Golf is one of the most mentally demanding games with so many variables within the full swing and other elements, it is being able to communicate and connect with the indivdual whatever the age or experience level, which is my daily objective.
As a fomer Professional Tour player I am able to draw on my many years of playing experiences drawing on the missing links which I experienced on Tour and incorporate within my playing and 1-2-1 sessions varying the type of information relayed relative to the learner.
This is a questions with many different answers and I'm sure there are coaches who measure their success with how many wins their athletes haves achieved or the level of competition they are competing at. But I think this can be dependent on the sport you are working in, the level of athletes you have, whether you are a feeder coach to others and also funding levels.
Currently, I work in the main with grass roots and beginners and I measure my success in a few ways:
1) Are they enjoying being involved in my sport. If so then they are building healthy habits for life which will can only be beneficial
2) Are they respectful, work hard, are able to work in a team and give their best when training either under tuition or just practising alone? These are skills which will round them as a person and benefit them in other areas of their life
3) Do they learn something each time they participate. Be it mastering a skill, or something to put them on the path to doing so.
Really related to your final point - "how do your players judge your success as a coach, and how does that influence the way you coach/judge your own success". Depending on the level being worked with I think that the (Team Sport)players will be more concerned with their own success rather than the coach's success tbh. At the end of a League Season the win/lose stat might be relevant when reflecting on the coach's impact/decision making; At the end of a Tournament ranking might similarly be relevant; BUT, imho the players are more self-interested along the way and will only think about the coach's success as an after thought, unless the overall performances were below expectations.
If the Team goals are developmental the coaching and consequential measures will be guided accordingly; if the Team goals are results oriented success will be judged more harshly.
In a recent coaching environment, success in the coach's eyes was measured over two Internationals on whether or not the Team beat the opposition and collected the Trophy being contested. All the players also wanted that prize, but some additionally wanted the coach to be watching out for other never agreed objectives, as a result these dissatisfied players deemed the coach unsuccessful even though the agreed success was achieved. You can never please all of the people all of the time!
I have become a great fan of The Matheny Manifesto. Although it is not my intention to replicate Mike Matheny's approach to developing athletes in the round, much of his core values ring true for me.
As so many respondents before me have indicated there are many answers to the question(s) raised by Paul F - depending on the circumstances being encountered by the coach.
At the end of the cycle in hand, e.g. Season, tournament, camp, school term, are the players a better unit, is the individual player a better person/player than they were before your intervention(s)? These are the questions I ask myself, and then decide where I have made the grade, and where I could do better!
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