Coach's Corner

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What makes a great athletics coach?

Post 23 April 2013 By Adam Nash & Toni Minichiello In Coach's Corner Blog
What makes a great athletics coach? © Jane Vernon Photography

It might be the winner who takes all the applause once they cross the finish line, but behind every successful athlete there is a top class coach offering support, inspiration and guidance. It is their job to motivate an athlete and keep them striving for excellence.

But what does the role of a coach actually entail and how do they help athletes compete at the highest level?

“Their main role is to support the athlete and help them develop their potential,” says Toni.  “This can include working on an individual’s training program and competition selection. It might be for 1 year or 4 years, but you should always be aiming to progress for the future.” 

“A coach should also offer emotional support. Many people can doubt themselves and their own ability so you need to support them and confirm their talent.”

It takes a lot more than a whistle and a pair of shorts to make it as a coach. The world of sports science is constantly changing and a great coach should keep up to date with the very latest research and training techniques. 

“I think every coach should be knowledgeable, innovative and driven - probably more driven then the athlete themselves,” says Toni. “They need to understand the role of a coach. An athlete should understand a coach is there to help them achieve, while a coach should be as selfless as much as the athlete is selfish.” 


Toni’s top tip – Long distance running

Spring is finally here and the snow has made way for the sun. For many of you this means it is time to dig out your old running shoes and head out to your local park. Training for a long distance run can put a strain on your body, so, whether you are a novice or an experienced runner, there are certain techniques which can help you reach your goals. 

“Preparing for a long distance run is all about getting used to the amount of time you have to spend on your feet. You should keep your training varied. Rowing, swimming and cycling will help you train while taking pressure off your legs. This is important especially for novices who commonly experience aches in their legs and back.”

Follow Toni Minichiello on twitter @Coach_Toni


Last modified on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 12:41
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