Healthy Players

Knowledge of their sport is self explanatory. Tony was an ex pro at Hull FC and Scarborough FC. He already has experience. Sir Alex was a pro in Scotland. It is very rare to find a football coach that has never played at least at amateur level. All coaches now days must have a least an FA badge. Most decent coaches now days have a UEFA B coaching badge. It is pointless having a coach with no background on the sport at any level because it won’t be beneficial. Most coaches will have a wide range of knowledge about their sport their own performers, how people learn, sport science, tactics and session planning. They will use this knowledge and adopt their own style than the coach who lacks knowledge in certain areas.

Both these coaches have good tactical skills. A good coach must be able to move his/her side around and get the result he/she is looking for. Sir Alex has very good tactical skills, he doesn’t waste substitutions, and there will always be a tactical idea behind the change. The same can be said with Tony. Coaches must always be able to change their tactics for certain games without making things to complicated and both managers are good at this. They must be able to identify when things have gone wrong with a certain system and be able to determine the exact nature of the problem. He or she must be able to assess a situation and try and identify appropriate solutions to the problem.

One way that both coaches have a basic background of sports science knowledge is that they tell their players to warm down after matches and training sessions to de-crease the chances of lactic acid building up in their muscles, especially in their legs. Most coaches have basic background knowledge of sports science due to when they do their coaching awards they cover certain aspects of sports science. Coaches try to keep their players healthy by encouraging them to eat well, have early nights, not to drink alcohol and to relax as much as often. Both these coaches are good at this. Sir Alex despises the idea of his players being drunk and Tony encourages his side to early nights and a sensible diet.

Safety and security is taken into account by all coaches. Mainly by amateur coaches because they do not have state of the art facilities like elite players have that Sir Alex would use to coach his side. Many Sunday league teams train indoors in sports halls, or in local parks and coaches should check the area they will practice in. Tony would have to give the pitch he trains on a quick look over to make sure nothing harmful is around where as Sir Alex wouldn’t have to check because his facilities are well taken care of and only used by his squad everyday of the week. Most amateur coaches like Tony will make sure their performers always do a warm up, make sure that they do no have to perform activities where there are not physically able to do so, take part in activities which remain in the rules of the sport and they should not allow activities that are technically wrong to unsafe to perform. Most coaches being employed to coach children will have to be checked by police before taking up any position.

In the field of coaching, many coaches will have plenty of time to go over what they want to do, others will only have maybe two hours a week and then only the game on the weekend. This is where elite coaches take advantage and lower league coaches have to do what they can with the time possible. You get coaches like Tony who are no nonsense and use the time he has efficiently, and you get coaches who just play a game for the two hours they have or just do shooting practice. Pro coaches have all week long to go through what they want to cover so they can spend more time on certain things and get through what they want thoroughly.

Many coaches moan because they feel they do not get enough time with their teams or performers to achieve the desired outcome. This is usually a bad excuse for poor time management. Therefore coaches like Tony should use the time that they have available effectively. If a coach carefully plans a session, it would maximise the learning time and minimise the wasted time. Coaches must find a balance between providing enough time for the performer to practice a drill for them to learn and improve, and spending more time than necessary on activities that do not provide new learning opportunities.


All coaches have legal obligations which they need to maintain to keep professional standards. They need to be fully aware of their responsibilities. Everyone is governed by the laws that we live in, and these rules apply whether we are playing in a park or behind a local pub. In order to maintain fair play in competitive sport, coaches and performers are to keep to the rules and laws of their specific sport. There are two main areas which are common law and negligence. An example of common law can be seen by considering the laws of common assault. Assault during the course of play (mainly seen in rugby), is not beyond the law.

Coaches should make sure that their performers and the coach themselves do not cross the line of unacceptable behaviour. Many coaches do not understand that if one of their performers suffers an injury, loss or damage to property due to coach’s negligence, that the coach may be held liable. Negligence can be a result of both actions and omissions, what you do and what you don’t do. A coach will have what is termed as ‘a duty of care’ towards his/her performers. Sir Alex is an elite manager so he has a contract he has to keep to and he is also dealing with adults which doesn’t bring much of this into the situation, but Tony does keep to his legal obligations very well and he has always had a young side.

Child protection is a very big issue in this country. It is made sure that all coaches being employed to coach children are checked by police before taking up any position. Coaches have a responsibility to protect children from all forms of abuse. There are for main kinds of abuse; neglect, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and physical abuse. This would not apply too much to Sir Alex but it did for Tony around 5 years ago when he had a very young squad. All coaches should hold insurance cover for the specific sport they are involved in.

They also need it for their employment status (self-employed coaches need public liability insurance). Many governing bodies may include insurance as part of their affiliation fee. All coaches need to be able to understand and execute certain skills associated with technical and tactical aspects of sport. It is partly true that a good coach can coach a person in any sport because the fundamental coaching skills are the same across all sports, and it’s only the context that changes. A coach has to have a good knowledge of a sport and its demands in order to effectively coach and teach.

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