For modern professionals, the job of coaching has gone far beyond simply teaching players how to hone their athletic ability. Contemporary coaching has as much to do with the mind as it does the physical body and performance.
Recognizing that, coaching certificate programs have been created that allow coaches to further their education and learn the latest strategies, tools, and techniques in coaching. Fresno Pacific University, as part of its online continuing education program for educators, offers a Coaching for Excellence coaching certificate program designed for those who want to gain fresh insights into coaching.
The certificate programs offer courses on a variety of issues that impact coaching. Those include two key components of the job: building character and enhancing motivation.
Character and sports
The word “character” comes up in sports often - not always in a positive way, especially at the professional level. Some individual players are seen as lacking character. In some cases, a whole team might become of the focus of this type of criticism.
Coaches of young players have an opportunity to mold a person’s character earlier in life. But are there proven strategies to follow that can lead to better character and sportsmanship among young players?
The answer is yes, and some of these strategies include:
- Developing a strong coaching philosophy that serves as a primary guideline for every decision you make
- Having a philosophy that equally balances character and sportsmanlike conduct with athletic and tactical skills development
- Analyzing and understanding the role of sports within greater social contexts, particularly as it relates to the formation of moral character
- Analyzing moral reasoning, character formation and sportsmanship in relationship to the desire for group success, group motivation and group performance
Coaches have the opportunity to learn through a variety of mechanisms, including keeping a journal that details the events during a 10-day period of coaching, interviewing other coaches and reading extensive essays and books on the topic.
Coaching and Player Motivation
What motivates a student-athlete to achieve at a high level? What is a coach’s role in supporting that motivation? These questions have answers in the mental aspects of coaching, an area that is just as important as developing physical skills.
Everything involved in sports - from learning the game, to improvement in physical and tactical skills, to eventual success - is tied to the psychological idea of motivation. Unfortunately, many in coaching fail to understand this as well as they should, leading to players not achieving their potential.
A coaching certificate program offers information in areas that enhance a coach’s skills in motivation. This includes:
- Developing a growth mindset approach to the study of achievement motivation in sport
- Understanding the impact of coach-student communication on the success of motivating student-athletes
- Developing communication and interactions that foster self-confidence in student-athletes
- Learning how mistakes can lead to stronger motivation and performance
Motivation and character building are just two of many areas where coaches can improve their skills through online courses. Other areas include leadership, fostering team cohesion, coaching female athletes, and focusing on specific sports including baseball, football, basketball, swimming, and track & field.
Coaches play a vital role in the development of young people, both in mind and body. For coaches who want to be the best at what they do, a coaching certificate program can help them further their professional goals.