Do Ex-players make good coaches?
Coaching in sports means assisting athletes in developing their abilities to full potential. They should train the athletes by analyzing their performance and advancing their skills. They are even liable for, motivating them by giving guidance in life, and the chosen sport. It is a kind of job which requires professional effectiveness.
Generally, great former players are appointed as coaches for the younger players. It is a common practice in football to make great players coach the juniors. Mainly because they have a better understanding of the sport, the club, the winning strategy, and the fans as well. They have been there and seen the game. There is an expectation, especially in the sports culture, that a professional player can make a good coach. However, this is not true as being good at a sport doesn’t mean that you are good at teaching it too.
There are hardly any evidence that shows a person can coach well only if they have played the game. Such experiences can give a better view of coaching but can’t reveal a coach’s exact role. Being a coach means planning and scheduling the daily activities for the trainees. It includes face to face training sessions, organising, etc.
Hence, former players moving directly into coaching positions often face difficulties. The best example is of the Charlton brothers in football. Though Bobby was good at the game but failed to become a good coach. On the other hand, Jack being a comparatively weaker player, was an incredible coach.
Researchers have concluded that elite players do not generally make good coaches though they are good at the sport. Coaches who have not performed well as a player are able to develop better coaching skills than champions. This is because they were busy maximising their athletic performance rather than studying the sport. One example is Jose Mourinho, the manager of one of the world’s biggest sporting club- Manchester United. He has played less than 100 games in his entire career. But, he studied sports science, worked as a physical education teacher, youth team coach, assistant manager, etc before becoming the head coach.
Coaches should be hired on their abilities and not their performance in the game. Elite players having the necessary skills required to fit in the job specifications should be given a chance, and the same with the average players. To increase the quantity of coaches, sports authorities should promote the stories of exceptional coaches. Being good at the sport doesn’t mean you can coach well without having a professional degree in education.
There are great players like Lenny Wilkins, Doc Rivers, Rudy Tomjanovich, etc who have proved to be great coaches. While coaches like Larry Brown, Pat Riley, etc were not good at their game but are top-ranked coaches.
To conclude, it doesn’t matter how good you are at a game to become a great coach. Former elite players can also make a career in coaching and can ace in that as well.
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