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Coach Assessment

Martens (1997)[1] identified five critical areas that coaches should focus on coaching objectives, coaching styles, evaluating and developing communication skills, principles of reinforcement and understanding motivation. Coaches are responsible for conducting themselves and their services according to professional and ethical standards, promoting their interests and protecting their performers' rights, the sport and the coaching profession.

Areas of assessment

The following are possible aspects of the coaching session that could be assessed (Martens 1997)[1]:

  • Health and Safety
  • Communication skills
  • Coaching Skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Long and short-term Planning
  • Training session content and structure
  • Knowledge and experience
  • Control of athletes
  • Monitoring of athletes
  • Level of flexibility

You can use the following questions to analyse your coaching skills or the coach's skills you mentor. Some of the questions have been adapted from Martens (1997)[1].

Pre-session activities

The following are points to monitor:

  • Were facilities checked for safety
  • Was a phone point identified - in case of emergency
  • Was the First Aid person known - in case of emergency
  • Was appropriate equipment selected
  • Were equipment and facilities checked for health and safety
  • Was the status of each athlete's health checked - injuries, colds, tired etc.
  • Was there a clear plan of work and objectives for the session
  • Was there a clear coaching goal for the session
  • Was each athlete checked to determine what exercise they had completed that day - e.g. school football match - for potential impact on the planned training session

Session activities

The following are points to monitor:

  • Was each athlete's level of experience checked
  • Were athletes informed of the session content, and aims and their understanding checked
  • Were athletes made aware of the rules and code of conduct for the activity, and their understanding checked
  • Were instructions clear, concise and appropriate
  • Was the body language and tone of voice appropriate when giving instructions and advice
  • Were positive feedback and appropriate corrective action provided to each athlete
  • Was questioning used to encourage the athlete to self-analyse performance
  • Were explanations and demonstrations appropriate and clear
  • Was the athlete's understanding of what was required checked
  • Were athletes allowed to ask questions
  • Were appropriate coaching methods used in developing each athlete
  • Were athletes observed throughout the session, and appropriate feedback on strengths and weaknesses provided
  • Did all athletes undertake an appropriate warm-up and cool-down
  • Was equipment regularly checked for health and safety
  • Were athletes asked for their feedback on the session
  • Were athletes monitored for tiredness or the onset of injury
  • Were all athletes in their training groups given equal attention
  • Were athletes given an appropriate amount of recovery between activities
  • Were athletes encouraged to keep warm between activities
  • Were the athletes encouraged to drink (water, and sports drinks) to replace lost fluids
  • Did the coach show the appropriate and correct use of coaching skills, e.g. Instruction, Explanation, Demonstration, Observation, Analysis and Feedback

Post Session activities

The following are points to monitor:

  • Did the coach have control of the athletes
  • Did the athletes enjoy the session
  • Did the coach exhibit a clear understanding of the techniques and skills required by the athletes for the session
  • Did athletes trust and respect the coach
  • Did the coach provide appropriate feedback to the athletes
  • Did the coach use good communication skills
  • Did the athletes achieve their objectives from the session
  • Were the coach's objectives for the session achieved
  • Were the coach's relationship and behaviour with the athletes in line with good practice
  • Did the coach analyse what worked well, what did not and how it might be corrected
  • Did the coach ensure the appropriate people collected the athletes


  1. MARTENS, R. (1997) Successful Coaching. Champaign: Human Kinetics

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2004) Coach Assessment [WWW] Available from: [Accessed