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Stepping on to the court or field as a new coach can be intimidating and comes with a stack of new responsibilities and challenges. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or an expert in the game, coaching for the first time is just as nerve wracking as it is exciting. Luckily, there are a few tips that can help new coaches approach their team with confidence and ready them for their first win. 

Have a Plan

Before the first practice with the team, it’s imperative to have a plan. Study the team ahead of time to gain insight on the strengths and weaknesses. It’s essential to know ahead of time what they are lacking and where they can excel. With this in mind, you’ll be able to shape them into what you know they need to be to secure a winning season. Your plan can include more defensive skills, improving their agility, learning and running new plays, or even teaching them to better operate as a team. Whatever it may be, have your plan ready before their first practice.

Respect Your Players and Athletes

To be a great coach, you need to respect the ones you’re working with. Being a coach makes you as much a part of the team as the players. To be a great team, everyone must respect each other––especially you. Show your players or athletes you’re working with that you respect them and admire the hard work that got them to where they are now. Although you’re there to improve their game and push them to the next level, this can’t be done without mutual respect.

Learn From the Best

If you’re looking to be the best, you have to learn from the best. Seek advice from other coaches and mentors that you admire. To be a successful coach, it’s essential to gain lessons and advice from those who have had successful coaching careers. Even more importantly, be sure to surround yourself with positive people who know how you coach and can also coach with you. This is vital to success in coaching.

Prioritize Personal and Career Development

As a coach, it’s important to always be looking for new opportunities to grow and develop your career. More importantly, your personal growth and development can have a huge impact on both your career and the team you are coaching. Never turn down learning something new and look for ways to move forward. Always strive to be a better coach than you were last season, or even better than you were in the last game.