Are Coaching Courses Killing Coaching?

By Kelly Smith
Pakmen Volleyball Club
Founder and President

I read an interesting blog today, ‘How Coaching Courses Killed Coaching‘ by Wayne Goldsmith. Goldsmith argues that almost everything taught in coaching courses is available online for free so why would coaches want or need to attend a coaching course?

He also argues that course conductors feel the most important qualities a successful coach must have e.g. commitment, dedication, vision, passion, empathy, creativity, and so forth, are not taught in the courses.

Goldsmith argues that current courses contain basic information about sport science, but that information is readily available online and unless coaches are working with elite athletes, coaching is not about  sport science  – it’s about HOW to coach.

I agree with the main thrust of Goldsmith’s argument.  Coaches can take as many courses as humanly possible and they may still have no idea how to coach.  Coaching is, of course, about the qualities listed above.  I feel coaching is also about common sense and make good decisions.  I’m not sure you can even teach or learn these things although I believe a coach with a growth mindset can improve in these areas with time and experience.

I had the pleasure to work directly alongside famed Olympic coach Lennard Krapp for 3 years.  Krapp is the most technical person I have ever known and he taught me how helpful advanced knowledge of biomechanics can be when working with young athletes.  Unfortunately, most course conductors do not have this knowledge and you can’t teach what you don’t know. Thus, if you are lucky enough to attend a course presented by someone like Krapp, it would be well worth it, but in many if not most cases, it’s not an effective way to help coaches get better.

To read the article, go here: How Coaching Courses Killed Coaching