Periodically, we like to give you a look behind the curtain at an internal staff blog curated by PPI’s technical assistance program. While we focus on “stories from the field” here, our internal blog serves as a forum for our global team to learn more about issues at the intersection of coaching, youth development and peacebuilding, underscoring our commitment to organizational learning.
In the post below, adapted from that internal blog, we take a look at what males a successful coach. Make sure to add your own comments at the end!
We’ve had a lot of discussion around the hypothetical PPI-SPIN water cooler recently about what makes a PPI coach effective. What skills are necessary? What traits? Our most recent list looks something like the one below, ranked in order of priority. What do you think? What’s missing? Should we move something up or down? I also took a shot at classifying them as skills and traits – more on that below the list.
- Commitment to the mission. (Trait)
- Ability to connect with young people. (Trait/Skill)
- Sport-specific coaching ability. (Skill)
- Communication skills, particularly for coaching youth (Skill)
- Communication skills, particularly for connecting to/advocating in the community (Skill)
- Knowledge of a specific set of activities or curricula. (Skill)
So why the distinction between skills and traits? Simply put, skills are a lot easier to change than traits. Traits aren’t necessarily impossible to change; people have changes of heart all the time. They are, however, much more difficult to bring about as outsiders. Skills, though, can be trained for effectiveness. As we continue to develop our suite of training tools, that’s where we’re focusing.
PPI-CY International Fellow Ashley writes: I think in order to have the type of organizational control for a well run practice the most important of the two would be that a coach would have the respect of his players. Ideally, this respect would be mutual! Regarding the prospect of respect being learned this would turn it into more of a skill, in which case I would be very curious how the value or skill of respect could be taught.
I think Respect is also a key factor as a Trait. A coach must be someone who is respected by their players but also demonstrates respect for each of the individuals that they coach. This respect then in turn becomes a commonly held value for the entire team of individuals. Any ideas on practical steps for fostering respect as a coach?
Take the lead: What skills do you think all PPI coaches should have?