The role of a coach can mean different things to different players. Some players need a coach to slow them down while others need a coach to prod them into stronger action. Some will prefer a coach with a quiet supportive nature while others will prefer a hands-on coach who pushes them to their limits. A coach can train, teach, mentor, advise, encourage and protect. The coach is responsible for safely training and protecting the players during inclement weather, preventing over-exertion, intervening during emotionally charged situations.
A good coach will know how to encourage when helping an athlete strive for improvement. He'll know when an athlete is feeling overwhelmed or defeated and will step in to counsel her. If an athlete is over-ambitious, the coach will talk her down and help her refocus on realistic goals. When outside situations affect the player's game or concentration, the coach will be there to help her focus on the priorities.
The coach will help her athletes learn the rules of the game or sport they're playing. She'll help each player learn to reach his goals. In sports such as soccer and football, the coach will help the athletes figure out the best plays in relation to their abilities and talents. She'll discuss the pros and cons of certain plays and will help put these plays into action during the game.
The coach protects the athlete during practice and play. If an athlete becomes overtired or overheated, he is more liable to fall and hurt himself. Overheating can cause serious health issues. On the flip side, the players can get too cold while playing football or soccer in cold outdoor situations. Track and field competitors run the risk of weather-related issues, too, and the coach will be able to monitor when each player has had enough.
The coach in the position of trainer will work with an athlete who is learning new skills. The coach will put the athletes through warmup exercises so their muscles are ready for play. Gymnasts will need the coach to stay nearby to spot them when they are trying difficult moves and routines. The soccer coach will make sure the athletes' legs are properly warmed up for running and kicking. She'll also work on specific skills for each sport to build stronger and more capable players.
The coach will often be called upon to advise his players. A player's mental condition will affect his game or competition. If the player is going through a difficult situation at school or at home, the coach should be available to talk him through it. The coach will also help the athlete make choices that are relevant to his chosen sport, whether for short-term training or for decisions such as how to pick a college or a team to further a career.
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