A coaching style has to reflect your personality. It is an extension of your personality. You must have a good idea of what kind of person you are and what type of person you are aspiring to be. You must know yourself - are you uptight? flexible? anal? fun-loving? serious? cynical?,etc.
The most often described styles of coaching are: (from Successful Coaching, Martens, 1990, pp.11-16)
- COMMAND – In the command style of coaching, the coach makes all 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, it is his or her role to tell the athlete what to do. The athlete’s role is to listen, to absorb, and to comply.
- SUBMISSIVE – In the submissive style, coaches 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.
- COOPERATIVE – In the cooperative style, coaches share decision making with athletes. This is an adaptable and pliable style that puts the coach in the role of a facilitator, conductor and choreographer. This style empowers athletes to be the best that they can be.
There are other ways to categorize coaching styles - - authoritarian, democratic, socialistic, guided-discovery, etc.
The key is to identify a style that will best transfer information from coach to player. One must have flexibility to adapt to athletes since after a certain point in their development it is very difficult to change them.