Create seasonal and/or annual plans that incorporate developmentally appropriate progressions for instructing sport-specific skills based on best practices in motor development, biomechanics, and motor learning.
Sport coaches structure plans that consider anticipated individual variability in physical, behavioral and social maturity over the course of the season/year. Sport coaches plan for appropriate skill progressions based on the type of sport-specific skill and athletes’ stages of learning, memory and attentional capabilities, motivation, etc.
Design appropriate progressions for improving sport-specific physiological systems throughout all phases of the sport season using essential principles of exercise physiology and nutritional knowledge.
Sport coaches understand the basic principles and applications of training and program design. They are responsible for the physical training and conditioning that facilitates athlete development and performance. Although important to know these principles in relation to sport, it's also necessary to consider the principles holistically since many athletes are multi-sport athletes. Sport coaches design training programs and periodization plans that properly utilize physiological and biomechanical principles and implement nutritional guidelines for healthy eating to ensure optimal performance.
Plan practices to incorporate appropriate competition strategies, tactics and scouting information.
Sport coaches identify, develop and apply competitive sport strategies and specific tactics appropriate for the age and skill levels of the participating athletes, unique characteristics of the competitive situation, and scouting information. Sport coaches involve athletes in selecting competitive strategies and seek to facilitate the strategic decision-making capabilities of all athletes.
Incorporate mental skills into practice and competition to enhance performance and athlete well-being.
Sport coaches incorporate mental skills training at all age levels as a means to increase learning and performance, but also as part of the holistic development of the athlete. They provide training for mental skills (e.g., goal-setting, arousal regulation, attentional control, imagery/visualization, self-talk) through a periodized model that allows athletes to progress in their development of these skills and peak at appropriate times during the season. Sport coaches help athletes develop a mental competition plan that includes pre-competition preparation, contingency plan for errors during competition, and managing stress.
Create intentional strategies to develop life skills and promote their transfer to other life domains.
Sport coaches plan strategies to teach important life skills (e.g., teamwork, leadership, persistence, social and emotional skills). Sport coaches show athletes how life skills can be useful in life domains outside of sport to increase the likelihood that they will be learned, practiced and developed.
Understand components of effective contest management.
Sport coaches understand the importance of preparing facilities for competition, securing licensed officials, and promoting and demonstrating positive behavior to all officials, coaches and spectators.
Know the skills, elements of skill combinations and techniques, competition strategies and tactics, and the rules associated with the sport being coached.
Sport coaches possess a deep understanding of all aspects of their particular sport and are aware of the rules, techniques, and competition strategies and tactics of their sport.
Develop and utilize pedagogical strategies in daily practices.
Sport coaches know and use a variety of pedagogical approaches and instructional methods to help athletes learn techniques and tactics (e.g., accurate and timely demonstrations, games-based learning, problem-solving activities). Sport coaches also diversify these instructional strategies based on the needs of their athletes.
Craft daily practice plans based on sound teaching and learning principles to promote athlete development and optimize competitive performance.
Sport coaches create daily practice plans using practice plan guidelines (e.g., opening comments, warm-up, practice objectives, appropriate progression of skills and conditioning, cool down, closing comments, post-practice reflections) and teaching and learning principles (e.g., enhancing time on task, planning for complexity to appropriately challenge athletes, simulating competition situations, instituting behavioral management practices, pacing instructional cues, providing feedback contingent upon performance, checking for athlete understanding and comprehension, etc.).
Use appropriate motivational techniques to enhance performance and athlete engagement during practices and competitions.
Sport coaches follow best practices in motivating athletes. They consider individual differences in motivation and the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Sport coaches communicate in ways that maximize motivation by focusing on positive corrective instruction, using encouragement, emphasizing effort and improvement and other factors athletes can control.
Implement appropriate strategies for evaluating athlete training, development and performance.
Sport coaches evaluate athlete progress and performance to assist in making decisions about athlete training, development and performance. Sport coaches will use evidence-based strategies and tools as well as athlete input to make decisions regarding: athlete selection, assignment of team roles, goal-setting and training plan development, daily evaluation of progress, and incorporation of technology in training.
Engage athletes in a process of continuous self-assessment and reflection to foster responsibility for their own learning and development.
Sport coaches provide athletes with the tools to evaluate their progress and encourage them to take initiative to make improvements in their own development. Sport coaches teach athletes to self-assess in order to nurture autonomy and decision-making skills, and to learn from mistakes.
Adjust training and competition plans based on athlete needs and assessment practices.
Sport coaches adjust periodization/season plans based on athlete progression, physical and mental health, modification of goals, etc. Sport coaches also adjust skills and tactics based on success and areas needing improvement throughout the season.
Use strategic decision-making skills to make adjustments or improvements or change course throughout a competition.
Sport coaches make adjustments during competition considering factors like the underlying principles of strategy and tactics within the sport and the skills and patterns of play of the opponent. Sport coaches also maintain self-control and monitor stress levels to facilitate effective decision-making.