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How Coaches Can Impact Athlete Focus

coaches impact on athlete focus

There has never been a time where sports have garnered as much of the public’s attention. Successful coaches are successful motivators, first and foremost. Some even attain celebrity status equaling that of their key players. With a myriad of sports being broadcast 24/7, today’s young athletes don’t just compete for fun, they envision a lifestyle of the rich and famous and are motivated to train like professionals, committing hours daily of physical and mental conditioning to achieve peak performance. And while emphasis in coaching once focused primarily on physiology to improve athletic performance, other disciplines of human behavior have become just as important in training athletes.

Coaches impact their players by teaching life skills in hopes of developing positive relationships. Establishing a positive athlete-coach relationship is critical to achieving effective communication. No relationship, whether on the playing field or off, can blossom without communication and the relationship between players and coaches is no different. Players need to feel that their coach cares about them as a person; not just as a tool to win games. Players are people first and effective coaches take the time for the young student as well as the player. And as a positive athlete-coach relationship develops, many athletes begin considering their coaches as role models.

Dr. Tara M. Collins, earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Sports Management and Leadership from Northcentral University. She states, “Coaches have a large influence on the athletes, who transition through their programs.  They make a difference and have an impact on their success.  As a coach, I think it is important to listen and pay close attention to what the athletes are saying.  You have to remember it is not just about playing sports, but assisting with building character and growth in order for them to succeed in life.  My overall goal is to build a player’s confidence level, thought process, skill set, and integrity.  There are varying ways for me to accomplish these tasks and they are built around each athlete and how they process information.  This allows me to show that I know who they are and I am interested in their success on and off the court.  These factors build an unbreakable relationship between the coach and athlete.  My high school coach (Ann Candies) did the same for me and I truly respect her for what she did for me.”

Coaches motivate the athletes they work with by motivating mind as well as muscle to improve performance and train effectively. But to do so, the athlete must commit to embracing the information the coach provides because of a true belief in that mentor. By listening as well as instructing, positive relationships are developed with their players, increasing the chances of team success. And that one-to-one communication must be infectious so that team members communicate effectively with each other during the game. While coaches may have the ideal game plan drawn up, if they can’t communicate with their team, the potential for victory is reduced.

Ultimately, coaches should be passionate about teaching sport skills to their athletes. Coaches must be life-long learners of sport in order to properly train their athletes for peak performance. As the profession of sport coaching has evolved and sport has become a multi-billion dollar industry, many coaches have discovered sport incorporates both physical and mental training.

You now can see that strong coaches need to be strong motivators. And professional educators who are interested in athletic coaching opportunities might find the NCU athletic coaching program a perfect fit. You will focus on practical and successful coaching strategies and be introduced to the latest athletic performance improvement techniques. Throughout this program, you can examine integral parts of the coaching profession such as sports psychology, the science of sports nutrition and performance training. This program can help you learn those practical and successful strategies to help you motivate the athletes you inspire each day. To learn more about NCU's athletic coaching program, visit