Being  a coach in any sport is not an easy task, beyond being technically and tactically sound, what else can you do to become a better coach.  These are  few tips that came from instructing the Hockey Canada Safety Course.

1) Be a Good Role Model – demonstrate to your athletes good life skills, teach them to win gracefully, learn from their mistakes and failures.

2) Create a Safe & Respectful Environment – Not only will skills develop better when athletes feel safe, your athletes will achieve more success as those skills develop.  Respect plays a major role in safety be it respect for your competition, team-mates or training partners, the respect you give the athletes and show to other coaches and officials.

3) Continue Education – Educate yourself. Take courses, be it to improve your technical or tactical repertoire as it is always important to fill your tool box.  It is also important to take courses or seminars that will improve player health, safety and well being.  First Aid, CPR, and injury courses, nutrition, goal setting, anything that can improve you or give you tools to improve your athletes is a benefit.

4) Take in Account the Whole Athlete – We all at times forget that athletes are not just physical beings.  When we ask how they are doing we need to get beyond the skills, the techniques, the injuries or the performance.  The mental and emotional aspects of athletes can effect all of those.  Events that are occurring with family, friends or at school can weigh on how an athlete performs.  These distractions can also lead to being more injury prone as they aren’t focusing on proper technique or tactics.

While this list is definitely not inclusive these few tips can help you be just a coach who can teach skills and tactics into a coach who truly creates a great environment for their athletes to excel both in sport and life.

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