Considering Coaches in the Return to Sport

June, 29 2021

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It looks like a return to sport is actually happening! In our lead-up to this exciting time, we have been discussing how we as athletic professionals can best support this transition. We've touched on what to expect from our athletes, where their concerns lie and how we can support them. However, we cannot fully support our athletes without supporting our coaches.

As with our athletes, things are going to look different for coaches. The traditional coaching plan may not be as effective as it has been and may need to be adjusted for the fact that athletes have not been training as they typically have. Coaches may feel a little rusty coming off a season of ups and downs, adjusting to the unknown. It is completely understandable, if not expected, that you will have to give yourself a moment to take stock and shift. Here are some factors we are advising coaches to consider as they return to sport.

Considerations for coaches in return to sport

Take time to

  • Be positive and patient
  • Motivate with encouragement
  • Demonstrate understanding
  • Encourage risks
  • Allow yourself to mess up
  • Try out a new style if need be

In our quest to prepare for the return to sport, we reached out to some coaches to get an idea as to how they are feeling about getting back to it. While most are looking forward to getting in front of their teams, that does not negate the fact that there may be some concerns about what things might look like.

What our coaches are looking forward to

  • Getting back to working with players and helping them develop as players and people
  • A sense of normalcy for all involved
  • Getting to know new players
  • Building a solid team

What are our coaches unsure on

  • What things will look like?

  • Will there be starts and stops again?

  • Will spectators be allowed?

  •  Are masks going to be part of the return?

  • Will we be able to travel?

What they want to see continue

  • Looking after ourselves and one another from a health perspective
  • Being more aware of what everyone is going through
  • Ensuring people are taking care of themselves
  • Improved health and safety procedures

While coaches are typically overcome by wanting to ensure their athletes are well, you cannot forget to look after yourselves. Be mindful of where you’re at and how you are feeling. We discussed previously that it is important to allow your players to be where they are at, to allow space for whatever they bring. The same goes for you!

Most importantly - Have a great season and enjoy yourselves!



Watch psychotherapists and Hone founders, Jessica Renney and Paula McQuaid, in this informative webinar as they discuss how you can be a source of support to those who are struggling.


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