The Modern Roles of a Coach
By Chia Kwek Fah (Bachelor of Science, Exercise and Sports Science)
NROC Master Coach (Karate-do)
Coaching is getting modernize these days, as Sports Science is getting popular and people are more aware of their own well-being. In the old days, instructors (Not Coaches) were told to teach the right techniques and knowledge of their own related areas. They based on the knowledge passed down from their masters or teachers. Some do acquired certain degrees of communication skill. They were told to be the mentor, the guardian, the teacher, the parent, the role model of their trainees or students. Those who involved in National Associations will add in the achievement of Gold Medals as one of the objectives in coaching.
What is the new perspectives of a modern coach?
We need to think in a wider span of perspectives to come up with a better answer. Basically, we need to ask ourselves, what is the objectives, people join us in the sport events. From most of the records, we understand their prime objective is to improve their health conditions, to have fun, to make more friends. These are the most common reasons participants would indicate in the surveys on the purpose of joining and take part in sports. If we based on these answers, then the prime role of a coach is to assist his/her athletes to achieve better health or to improve one's well-being through sports.
Unfortunately, due to the society demands, some coaches set their first aim in coaching as 'To train athletes to achieve Gold Medal in their respective event'. We are not objecting this noble intention in coaching; but we are doubtful, it is only less than 5% of the sporting participants could achieve elite status and 1% of them may get a Gold Medal from International Events. Are we coaches going to waste 95% of trainees or athletes for this little group of elites? We believe that the elites should be coached by the elite coaches, not from the coaches in general.
To achieve the improvement of health and well-being of the athletes, one must understand their own group of trainees, in terms of their health condition, their goals and their understanding of the sport. Coaches need to understand some physiological elements that affect the progress of their athletes. Coaches should also need to acquire some knowledge in nutrition, effective communication skill, acquisition of skills, sport specific evaluation methods, proper and scientific training methods, etc. We also belief that if coaches could provide some simple pre-exercise health evaluation and post-exercise health evaluation to their athletes, it would make the athletes (That is your clients), more convincing and believe in your training method and philosophy.
Singapore Sports Hub is going to be up in 2011, and Singapore would be working towards the key centre of Sport in South East Asia. We coaches do need to continue upgrade ourselves to another height of knowledge, and prepare to welcome the new era of sports of Singapore.