Basic Coaching Skills: Building Leadership in Youth Sports
by Richard Rhodes, M.A., and Steven Hayward
"Basic Coaching Skills: Building Leadership in Youth Sports" was written with the novice coach in mind but also includes useful information for volunteer coaches with some prior coaching experience. The text is peppered with anecdotal information that is used to validate the authors’ points of view regarding leadership skills, coaching philosophy, the importance of fundamentals, etc... The limited scope of this book would require the reader to further explore each and every one of the 18 presented topics in order to develop a good understanding of these important coaching issues.
When information about additional resources is mentioned it is made available to the reader. However, it is presented in ineffectual general terms, e.g., "Obtain a couple of books...access information via the Internet...Purchase and rent a couple of videos... (p. 20)"
While the authors share good advice based on their extensive coaching experience, they fail to incorporate much of the existing knowledge in current youth sports instruction and management literature. "Basic Coaching Skills" includes a total of 130 pages but only one reference to an outside source of information, i.e., "The National Standards for Athletic Coaches." For example, the authors’ apparent failure to consult outside sources is evident in chapter 5, (p. 40) where the term "Reversibility" is used completely out of context. Also, the general principles of physiologic conditioning are mixed up with important procedures, such as, warm-up, cool down, and progressions. It would have been more useful to the novice coach to be made aware of terms, such as, frequency, intensity and duration which are components that make up an overload, and also are important in the proper design of a progressive conditioning plan. A very critical aspect of conditioning, especially when working with children, the principle of "Individual Differences" was totally left out.
Some very practical and useful features that are included in this text are the forms and checklists that can help the novice coach get well organized and on her/his way to a good start. In addition, each chapter ends with a bulleted list of "Key Things to Remember" which provide a quick summary of the main points made in the chapter.
I found it odd that the issue of "hyperactivity" was inserted (seems like it was simply cut and pasted into a spot) discussed within chapter 11 titled "Nutritional Needs" as contrasted with a chapter on "Children with Special Needs and how to Meet those Needs," for example. Hyperactivity which is often associated with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADDHD) was limited to a discussion that contains less than 140 words and provides some statistics, a description, and some suggestions on how to manage those kids. No suggestions regarding additional reading materials on this topic are provided.
The pattern of a very superficial approach to the topics covered in this book persist throughout its 18 chapters. Still, to the very uninitiated coach this book could serve as a starting point. The authors provide the reader with a child centered philosophy of coaching which I found to be the strongest asset of this book. Still, "Basic Coaching Skills" falls short of its promise "...to provide coaches with a solid foundation on which to build their coaching experience (p. xiii)." I would not recommend "Basic Coaching Skills" as a good source to the experienced coach.
Rhodes, R., & Hayward, S. (2000). Basic coaching skills: Building leadership in youth sports. Cottonwood, CA: American Coaching Institute. (ISBN # 0-9677941-0-2).
Daniel Frankl, Ph.D., Professor
Kinesiology and Nutritional Science
|questions and/or comments; thank you! .|
|Copyright © 2003-09 Daniel Frankl, Ph.D.|
Tips for Soccer
Player Development || Fundamentals || Setting Goals || Practice Ideas
Leadup Games || Getting Ready || Endurance || Flexibility || Nutrition
Positive Discipline || Soccer Safety || Related Sites
Last Modified: Dec. 31, 2008