Sports coaches work hard to make their athletes feel confident and efficient. But what about themselves? In this posting we zoom in on specific competences that determine the self-confidence of sports coaches. It is based on a recently published study of handball coaches*.
Research has suggested that coaches’ competences cover broad areas of training, competition and managing, including particular skills such as performance analysis, communication techniques, problem solving, or reflection. Specifically, Portuguese researchers have identified five competence areas that determine how efficient and confident coaches feel:
- Annual and multi-annual planning covers knowledge about organization, implementation, adaptation, and evaluation of both annual and multi-annual planning considering individual and team needs.
- Planning and guiding the training and the competition are related to goal setting and preparation of individual athletes and a team for competitions. It also includes organization and direction of practice sessions as well as evaluation and modification of the session plans.
- Knowledge about coaching methodology extends to evaluation of training contents, training theory, group leadership, instructional methods, and organization of competitions.
- Implementation of sport development projects and coach education covers knowledge about career planning, head coach’s role, management of other coaches, evaluation of coaches’ competencies, implementing inclusion through sport, and education of beginner coaches.
- Meta-cognitive competencies reflect taking responsibility for ideology or worldview; plan athletes’ personal and social education; solve problems in new situations; and being self-sufficient in learning.
In addition, researchers found that coaches acknowledge four main areas where they would need more training:
- Training and competition;
- Multi-annual planning;
- Management of sport careers;
- Coach education and leadership
It was found that that although coaches’ perceived themselves as proficient they acknowledge training needs in all the areas mentioned above. Coaches thought that the competence area most strongly related to their confidence was annual and multi-annual planning. Thus, coaches who report many competences in planning likely feel most competent in their job. Here, training management software could be of great use to coaches. Planning, analyzing and evaluation tools can make coaches feel more confident about their efficiency. Those instruments give you a comprehensible and straightforward mapping device for your efforts as a coach and a leader of your athletes.
* Mesquita, I., Borges, M. , Rosado, A., & Batista, P.M. (2012). Self-efficacy, perceived training needs and coaching competences: the case of Portuguese handball. European Journal of Sport Science, 12, 168-178.