Most coaches lean toward one of three coaching styles: the command styles, the submissive style, or the cooperative style.
Command Style (The Dictator)
In the command style of coaching, the coach makes all of the decisions. The role of the Athlete is to respond to the coach’s commands. The assumption underlying this approach is that because the coach has knowledge and experience, is it the coach’s role to tell the athlete what to do. The athlete’s role is to listen, to absorb, and to comply.
Submissive Style (The Baby-Sitter)
Coaches who adopt the submissive style make as few decisions as possible. It’s a throw out the ball and have a good time approach. The coach provides little instruction, provides minimal guidance in organizing activities and resolves discipline problems only when absolutely necessary. Coaches who adopt this style (1) lack the competence to provide instruction and guidance, (2) are too lazy to meet the demands of their coaching responsibilities, or (3) are very misinformed about what coaching is. The Submissive style coach is merely a baby-sitter and often a poor one at that.
Cooperative Style (The Teacher)
Coaches who select the cooperative style share decision making with their athletes. Although they recognize their responsibility to provide leadership and guide young people toward achieving the objective set forth, cooperative style coaches also know that youngsters cannot become responsible adults without learning to make decisions. The challenge of the cooperative style is providing the right balance between directing athletes and letting them direct them-selves. That’s why i call it, the cooperative-style, coaches cooperate with their athletes in sharing decision making.
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