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Posted by Nikki Storm on December 13, 2010 at 9:37 PM



What makes a good coach? There is a saying "those who can't, coach." There is also the idea that good athletes make bad coaches. But none of these things are necessarily true. To me a good coach is someone that understands the mind of an athlete. Wether the coach was formally a good athlete or not. In order for an athlete to respond to his (or her) coach in the right way, the athlete has to first trust that his coach knows what is best for him. If the coach doesn't establish a foundation of trust, his athlete may not do the things he asks of him. A good coach will not only understand the mind of the athlete but will also understand a certain measure of what the athlete is going through mentally and physically. At the same time, not everyone knows how to be a teacher and not everyone knows how to motivate. My personal experience with coaches has taught me how I want to be as a coach and how I don't want to be as a coach. The worst type of coach I had was someone I could tell was fake and really wasn't interested in my progress at all. I remember competing and doing very well at competitions under him but thinking back I don't know that he had ever even see me roll live ("rolling" is a grappling term used in Jiu Jitsu). On the other hand, I have experienced the best type of coaching too. The time I spent training at Camp Springs taught me a lot about what being a coach really meant. My Jiu Jitsu coach, for example, would watch me train then pull me aside later and tell me what specific things that needed to be worked on. One of my wrestling coaches actually wrestled with me at least twice a week and would help me with specific areas that were my weaknesses and encourage my strengths. The most important qualities a coach can have is that of caring for his student and having a passion for the sport. Caring about your students and their progress is so important because a lot of times the student doesn't even believe in his own self. If a coach can show his student his own worth and that someone else truly believes in him, it can make the difference between someone that just shows up and just goes through the motions and someone that trains with intent of being a Champion. Even if you plan on never coaching another person, it is still important to learn how to be a good coach. That's because your coach won't always be there to guide you and encourage you. You must learn how to be a good coach so that you know how to coach yourself. If you know how to coach yourself, you will learn how never to feel sorry for yourself or how to snap back into focus quicker just like if you were coaching another person or someone was coaching you. Being a coach is a big responsibility and so far the benefits of coaching other people, helping them to achieve their goals and seeing someone succeed in their own big and small ways is what helps motivate me and encourages me to keep going. Choose your coaches wisely. Although the brunt of the work is on you as the athlete, your coach could also mean the difference between you being a mediocre athlete and a World Champion. And personally, I would rather have a coach that wasn't necessarily great at his/her sport, but understands it, cares about me and is passionate, than a coach that was a champion in his/her sport but just doesn't care if I am.



One of my wrestling coaches taught me the importance of being my own coach and directed me to a really good website that is for students and coaches of wrestling. The website is filled with priceless information from some of the best wrestling coaches in the world (including Terry Brands). If you are able to be a member of this website (it's like $15/month to be a member) I would strongly recommend it. Its definitely worth the money and is an excellent source for training videos as well as coach's clinics. The website is http://www.worldwrestlingresource.com and you can also look them up on Facebook. 


(Above is a pic of my favorite coach, my brother Christian Claudio-US Elite Training. And my nephew, Sebastian)

Categories: Fighter Journals

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