Things A Good Professional Training Coach Always Does
Fitness and physical training is an essential aspect of a professional athlete’s routine, and it is where their coach’s experience and mastery plays a major role. The United States Department of Labor defines the trainer’s job as one where they “lead, instruct and motivate” their charges/training groups. The characteristics of a good professional training coach are encapsulated within these three primary aims which are:
A Professional Training Coach Knows How to Lead
By definition, a good leader, no matter the field, has certain underlying qualities that make him/her stand out from the pack. Good coaches are no different; they need to have the ability to bring the best out of their charges without demoralizing them.
Before setting out a training regimen, a professional training coach knows that they need to be absolutely certain that the routine they’ve chosen is the right one for their charge. This involves assessing a player’s physical characteristics, body asymmetries and weak spots which require improvement. Preparing a one on one training program without knowing or understanding a player’s dysfunction and ability can lead to severe injuries due to overuse or strain.
The key to a good relationship between a coach and his charge is direct, honest communication. This involves listening carefully to their athletes, giving them the chance to express their doubts and their expectations. This, in turn, encourages players to be honest about the level of motivation and commitment they have towards their goals. Being a good communicator also motivates people to be good listeners, making them trust and rely on your advice more readily.
Understand the Limit
Once a coach has assessed their charges through recommended screen tests, they’ll be able to ascertain exactly how much load or stress will be required to keep them fit without pushing them over the edge. For professional athletes, this also involves knowing how to manage their routines for both on and off-season training sessions.
A good professional training coach will focus on improving performance with a routine that drives and motivates their charge to keep at it. Improvement sessions are not drill sessions; they shouldn’t leave athletes feeling exhausted and discouraged.
The energy expended during fitness and physical training needs to be balanced out by proper recovery routines before and after the sessions. Professional coaches also focus on the supporting elements of a fitness regime such as a proper diet, good sleeping habits, hydration and recovery exercises like foam rolling and compressions.
A Professional Training Coach Knows How to Instruct
Instructing implies imparting knowledge, and therefore, a good coach needs to have the prerequisite qualifications and skills to do their job well.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most professional coach employers prefer their coaches to hold a qualifying Bachelor’s or associate’s degree in a health or fitness related field like physical education, kinesiology or exercise science. Additionally, many employers also require their coaches to hold official certifications and accreditations from NCCA accredited certification programs.
Know the Sport
In the case of professional sports, a coach should also know the ins and outs of the game thoroughly. Knowing the rules and regulations of the sport will give the trainer the ability to guide and coach their charge into making the right decisions and strategies on the court or field. It also involves keeping up with the latest information, playing tactics and changes in the game’s rules.
A Professional Training Coach Knows How to Motivate
Motivation is central to a coach’s ability, and is an oft-misunderstood skill when it comes to its application. Motivation isn’t about pushing people to win; it’s about building their desire to win.
Discover their Motivation
Motivation comes from within, and therefore, a private trainer focuses on finding what motivates players through constant observation and open communication. Once they’ve discovered their charge’s motivation, coaches can encourage them to work towards it. This involves recognizing positive efforts and challenging aspects that don’t fulfill the charge’s needs.
Another key role of a professional coach involves keeping their charges from backsliding due to discouragement or fatigue. This involves listening to them, and working on helping them master their frustration with patience and positive reinforcement.
The above-mentioned qualifications aren’t a gold standard for all professional coaches, but are good indicators of a great one.
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