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Coaching Styles

There are perhaps three coaching styles - autocratic (do as I say), democratic (involve the athletes in decision making) and laissez faire. The autocratic style could be broken into two types - telling and selling and the democratic style into sharing and allowing. There is little direction from a "Laissez fair" coaching style as this style allows the group to do what they want to. Coaches will use a variety of coaching styles depending on the coaching situation.

Autocratic Style - Telling

When using the Telling style the coach:

  • decides on what is to be done
  • defines what to do and how to do it

On a circuit training session, the athletes are told the exercises in the circuit.

Autocratic Style - Selling

When using the Selling style the coach:

  • decides on what is to be done
  • explains what is required and the objectives
  • ask the athlete questions to confirm understanding
  • defines what to do and how to do it

On a circuit training session, the athletes are informed of the exercises in the circuit. The coach explains the object of circuit training and the purpose of each exercise. Athletes can ask questions to clarify any points.

Democratic Style - Sharing

When using the Sharing style the coach:

  • outlines the training requirements to the athletes
  • invites ideas/suggestions from the athletes
  • makes the decision based on the athletes' suggestions
  • defines what to do and how to do it

The coach identifies a circuit training session. Athletes identify possible exercises for the circuit. The coach selects from the suggestions a set of exercises.

Democratic Style - Allowing

  • The coach outlines the training requirements to the athletes
  • The coach defines the training conditions
  • The athletes brainstorm to explore possible solutions
  • The athletes make the decision
  • The athletes define what to do and how to do it

The coach identifies a circuit training session. The coach defines the conditions of the circuit to ensure it is safe and meets the overall objectives of the session. Athletes identify possible exercises for the circuit and then select a set of exercises that meet the coach's conditions.

B. Woods Coaching Styles

B. Woods (1998)[1] identified 4 styles of coaching:

  • Command style - direct instruction, coach dictates
  • Reciprocal style - athlete takes some responsibility for their own development - monitored by the coach
  • Problem solving style - athlete solves problems set by the coach
  • Guided discovery - athlete has freedom to explore various options

British Athletics Coaching Styles

British Athletics identify the following coaching styles:

  • Telling - primarily the coach use instruction and explaining
  • Showing - primarily the coach use demonstration
  • Involving - primarily the coach allows self discovery and questioning to raise the athlete's awareness


References

  1. WOODS, B. (1998) Applying psychology to Sport. London: Hodder & Stoughton

Related References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • PERRY, M. (2013) Coaching Behaviors' Effects On Athletes' Anxiety
  • HORN, T. S. et al. (2011) Relationship between collegiate athletes' psychological characteristics and their preferences for different types of coaching behavior. Sport Psychologist, 25 (2), p. 190

Page Reference

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

  • CALLEJ, L. (2001) Coaching Styles [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/styles.htm [Accessed

Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: