A coaching philosophy is an essential ingredient of leadership. Strengthening leadership credibility starts with a coaching philosophy that makes clear the fundamental reason for coaching and the coach’s core values.

The third element of your coaching philosophy requires that you be clear about what you want to do and how you wish to behave. You need to define what means are acceptable to you as a coach. Values are indispensable if you are to lead.

A value is an enduring, deeply held belief that is a statement of personally or socially preferred ideals. When you determine your values as a coach, you need to pay attention not only to what is important to you but also what is important to society. The values set out in the NCCP Code of Ethics are an example of socially preferred ideals, having been formulated over time by consulting across a broad spectrum of coaches, athletes, and others involved in sport about what is essential in sport:

Decide which of the reasons for coaching — providing a positive sport experience for athletes, providing the opportunity for athletes to achieve their full potential through sport, and using sport as a holistic means of individual development — is your priority.

But it is important for you to reflect on your philosophy, document it, and continually try to improve it.

It’s important to recognize, embrace, and refine your coaching philosophy. It will guide you, keep you on the right track, give your team an identity, and make you a better coach.

Here are a few ideas on how you can more effectively implement your philosophy.

As a coach, part of your philosophy might be to focus on the fundamentals. Not only can fundamentals make your team really good — but it puts the best interests of your players at the forefront. What type of coach would you rather player for? A coach that focuses on teaching you “his system and tactics” that you might not use in the future — or a coaches that is focusing on developing you as a player?

Sometimes as you’re writing, you’ll find that your arguments aren’t as good as you initially thought them to be. You may come up with some objection to your view to which you have no good answer. Don’t panic. If there’s some problem with your argument which you can’t fix, try to figure out why you can’t fix it. It’s okay to change your thesis to one you can defend. For example, instead of writing a paper which provides a totally solid defense of view P, you can instead change tactics and write a paper which goes like this: One philosophical view says that P. This is a plausible view, for the following reasons. However, there are some reasons to be doubtful whether P. One of these reasons is X. X poses a problem for the view that P because. It is not clear how the defender of P can overcome this objection. Or you can write a paper which goes: One argument for P is the ‘Conjunction Argument,’ which goes as follows. At first glance, this is a very appealing argument. However, this argument is faulty, for the following reasons. One might try to repair the argument, by. But these repairs will not work, because. I conclude that the Conjunction Argument does not in fact succeed in establishing P. Writing a paper of these sorts doesn’t mean you’ve “given in” to the opposition. After all, neither of these papers commits you to the view that not-P. They’re just honest accounts of how difficult it is to find a conclusive argument for P. P might still be true, for all that.

Don’t worry about using the verb “is” or “to be” too much. In a philosophy paper, it’s OK to use this verb as much as you need to.

Try to anticipate these comments and avoid the need for them!

I find that making an outline is at least 80% of the work of writing a good philosophy paper. If you have a good outline, the rest of the writing process will go much more smoothly.

Values guide your conduct across the variety of coaching settings and situations. Values tell you what to do and what not to do, and they help you identify the conflict in a situation. Values clarify our priorities and help us decide when to act. Values give us energy as leaders. We are motivated by what is important to us.

Physical safety and health of athletes; Coaching responsibly; Integrity in relations with others; Respect of athletes; and Honouring sport.

To help you create your own coaching philosophy, consider this example: My coaching philosophy stresses the importance of accountability, responsibility, team unity, discipline, mental toughness, self-confidence, sportsmanship, and a desire to compete ( VALUES ). My teams are characterized as very disciplined, sportsmanlike ( LEADERSHIP STYLE ) and highly motivated to put in an intense effort on the floor every practice and game ( PURPOSE ).

A coaching philosophy is an essential ingredient of leadership. Strengthening leadership credibility starts with a coaching philosophy that makes clear the fundamental reason for coaching and the coach’s core values.

Raising your self-awareness.

Your coaching philosophy guides how you behave as a coach and how you interact with your athletes. It should reflect who you are and who you want to be. It is based on your experiences, knowledge, values, opinions and beliefs. Of these, your values have the greatest impact on your coaching philosophy, as it is a statement of what is important to you.

Your coaching objectives, and Your values.

How do you write a coaching philosophy?

PJ – That is one of those tough decisions we have to make as coaches. I think you need to consider cutting players like that if it seems they are hurting the entire team. Ultimately you need to ask, how can I help this collective group of young people the most? If you clearly do more good by cutting a player, then that’s what you have to do. Be sure rules and expectations and implications of breaking rules are communicated.