Coaching Association of Canada

Coaching: The Basics

Why Coach?

There are many reasons why people get involved in coaching a community sport. Here are a few:

  • as parents we want to spend time with our child in an active way;
  • as individuals we want to volunteer and get involved in our community;
  • as teachers we have taken on extra-curricular school activities;
  • as athletes we want to pursue our passion in a different direction and give back to our community;
  • as fans we simply love sport and want to give coaching a try.

But what does a coach do?

A community coach strives to do the following:

  • encourage young athletes to be active and to have fun;
  • plan purposeful practices and create engaging activities;
  • lead their participants in developing gross motor skills;
  • help participants identify how to improve their performance by providing constructive criticism and advice;
  • manage problems by making ethical and respectful decisions
  • enable safe participation by creating a safe environment
  • teach others how to respect themselves, others, and their sport.

In short, when you become a coach, you help others reach higher, both in sport and in life!

What does it take to become a coach?

The simple fact that you’re visiting coach.ca means that you have one of the key ingredients of all coaches – passion!

Here is a list of other skills that are useful to becoming a community coach:

  • Enjoy working with children
  • Ability to be creative and to improvise
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work within a team environment
  • Ability to lead effectively
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Critical-thinking skills

Don’t worry if you think you don’t have some of these skills – you’ll find that if you simply go out there and give it a try, you will find that the skills will develop with time and practice.

It’s also not important at first to know every technical aspect of the sport you choose to coach – far more important is the passion and enthusiasm you bring to the role. 

So how do I get started?

Many great coaches learned their skills by assisting other coaches – where they could watch, ask questions and learn, and eventually coach a team of their own. Here are some of the many ways to get information and get involved!

  • Talk to someone who is already coaching – a friend, a neighbour, your child’s coach. People are always willing to share.
  • Sign up to coach with a friend and help each other learn!
  • Sign up to assist your son/daughter’s team, or ask their coach for more information;
  • Volunteer with a local amateur or community team;
  • Take a National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) training workshop
  • Take our Get Coaching e-activity to see what you need to do to prepare for your first practice;
  • Ask your local club or provincial sport organization for resources (books, videos, guidance)
  • Take a leap of faith and just do it!

Ready to learn the basics?

Do you have a practice tomorrow night and have no clue what to do? Don’t worry! Complete this FREE online activity to help you build a practice plan. Let’s Get Coaching!

Every child deserves a certified coach. If you are ready to obtain formal training, you can find out where to begin by visiting Coach Training.

Check out a treasure chest full of coaching tips and tools from experts including certified coaches, national sport organizations and sport dietitians under the Resources tab.