The role of the coach, are we facilitators?


harri smile.jpg

Have you asked yourself as a coach, what your role is? Are you there to help your team win, to motivate them? Or be a leader and a focal point of the club? Does your philosophy, style and skill-set enable you to achieve your vision and excel at your role?

I know when speaking to other coaches about what drives them and why they dedicate so much of their time to coaching, many seem to struggle.

In my experience the best coaches don’t steal the spot light of their players when things are going well, or blame others when the chips are down. They strike a balance. They are selfless; attributing success to their players and taking responsibility for their team’s failures.

My coaching philosophy is very simple and will remain player centred above all else:

  • Ask players what we should do?
  • Then ask why? And what is the benefit of doing it that way?

In doing this, the role becomes one of a facilitator and this is where I see myself:  “Someone who helps a person or organisation do something more easily to find the answer to a problem by discussing things and suggesting ways of doing” (Cambridge dictionary)

Remember a coach is there to facilitate not dictate. Facilitation will lead to a healthier culture and improve team performance.  Our natural instinct as a coach might be to tell our players what they did wrong, but put yourself in their shoes, does this help or stifle their development and ultimately, their performance?

How does this work in reality?

I like to create problems and scenarios that challenge my players. If they don’t know the answers, then you know you are challenging your players and as a facilitator, you can now help them to solve that problem; whether this is through a verbal or visual explanation, or simply approaching the problem in a different way. By helping the players solve it rather than just solving it for them, they develop a deeper understanding of the process of how to solve future problems.

Harrison Collins
Head of Coach Development