The importance of correct coaching
The importance of correct coaching can easily be demonstrated by the following statistics; it can take up to 5,000 repetitions of a skill to burn the movement into your body’s muscle memory, i.e. to perform that skill automatically. However, it can take up to 50,000 repetitions to correct a skill that has been learnt incorrectly.
In essence, coaching is a skill that is needed to increase the competence of individuals and the team through continuous guidance, monitoring and feedback.
Touch is a technical sport and, as a developing sport in Europe, there is little in the way of literature and video. Therefore, there is more emphasis on coaches to share their knowledge, not just to develop your team and players but to grow the sport.
The benefit of coaching
There are many reasons people choose to get involved in coaching but one of the most popular reasons is being able to help players develop, whether you’re coaching a youth team or coaching elite players as part of a regional or national team. There is great satisfaction in watching a team that you have coached executing skills during a game over-and-over again, that took months of hard work from both you as the coach and the players involved.
Many coaches (although not all) are former players, who undoubtedly have been helped throughout their playing career by various coaches, players and referees. Coaching is one way to give something back to the sport.
Best Pathway for Coaches
Before taking up a coaching role, it is worth gaining some experience of the tasks that coaches complete, perhaps within your own club team, e.g.
Help plan a session or part of a session
Demonstrate the execution of a skill
Organise a particular drill or exercise
Coaching is a skill (or a collection of skills) and, like any skill, requires practice.
For those who have aspirations in a coaching role, it would be recommended to become an assistant coach at a level appropriate to your knowledge, experience and commitment, alongside a head coach who you can learn from. Some people may be more comfortable as an assistant coach (rather than a head coach) and may want to progress in a similar role but at a higher level, e.g. regional or national. Others may have aspirations to become a head coach and should therefore look to gain more experience in areas such as selection, delivering feedback to players, annual planning, etc.
In terms of qualifications, there are currently two levels of coaching course within Europe (with some countries offering a community coaching course as an introduction to coaching Touch):
- Level 1 is an introduction to coaching in general with some specifics to Touch. It focuses on how we coach, organising a session. It is mainly classroom based but with some practical sessions.
- Level 2 is probably the minimum level you should attain if you wish to coach at international level. It focuses on specific Touch coaching with game scenarios. It also looks atsession planning and yearly plans, nutrition, injury prevention and hydration.
You should contact your NTA for details on courses near you. If they cannot assist, contact the EFT via the contacts page on this website.