What Makes a Good Coach?

Article by: Ryan S.

Behind every winning team lies the leadership of a great coach. At ISM, the same can be said about the triumphs many of our Bearcat teams have experienced, both locally and at IASAS competitions. But because athletes have different learning styles, coaches must develop frameworks that suit the needs of varying talents. So how do ISM coaches encourage such successful teams?

One similarity among many successful coaches is the ability to communicate and build relationships with athletes. Although this may not always be on a personal level, strong athlete-coach relationships are often the best medium for clearly delivering information and building mutual trust. Sophomore varsity volleyball and badminton athlete Aqilla Ramayandi stresses the importance of communication, noting, “I really enjoy when coaches speak to me individually as not only does it show that the coach is approachable, but also that he has high expectations and believes in me as a player.” He also highlights, “It’s nice to to have a good relationship with a coach, as in addition to receiving feedback on my game, he is also someone I can come to for advice on anything.” This is unsurprising as research from the International Coach Federation (ICF) suggests that teams with good coaches not only experience an 80% increase in self-confidence, but also experiences a 72% increase in communication skills. But when asked about what makes his current volleyball coaches, Mr. Berg and Mr. Paulson, so unique, Aqilla remarks, “They are able to bring out the best out of me while at the same time, are able to keep me wanting to get better.”

Naturally, as different people process information and progress in different ways, it is often the role of the coach to remain patient and persistent, even through times of struggle. Sophomore varsity swimming athlete Dias Konysbayev states, “Coaches are at their best when they push you to your absolute limit and give you the drive to aspire for success.” He also claims that it’s during times of hopelessness that people really need their coaches to push them, as it’s by doing that extra meter or lap that an athlete improves. To elaborate, he mentions that Coach Hazel constantly puts in tremendous effort and sacrifices her time to coach the swim team into becoming one of the top contenders at IASAS this year.  

Whether on the court or in the pool, coaches at ISM push our Bearcats to success. But at the end of day, it is not winning that counts, but the principles and morals our coaches teach and implement that last forever.