Playing and coaching require completely different skill sets. First and foremost, coaches lead people. Their main role is to develop people first and the squash athlete second. They are there to help people to achieve their individual goals in squash. Being able to communicate information to help others comes from coaching experience - not from playing experience.
A common mistake athletes who coach make is thinking their past behaviour is the source of their success. Because they were successful doing it their way, they then try to coach their athletes in the same way. Sure, you might be awesome on the court as an athlete, but unless you're able to pass that knowledge on to the athletes around you, you'll never be a great coach. The important thing is not what you know, but that you understand your athletes and know how you can communicate with them to help unlock their individual potential.
*What to look for when Selecting / Contracting a Coach (checklist). Click here
Yes, coaching requires an understanding of the game and some experience playing it - but being a successful coach requires you to ‘guide from the side’ and not do it yourself. You need to be able to coach, to mentor, to problem solve, to lead, to delegate, to look after your athletes’ welfare and to provide inspiration. Developing these ‘soft skills’ are much more critical to coaching success than being able to perform the technical and tactical skills of the game.
In many sports being a great athlete and having name recognition in the community opens doors for coaching opportunities. This means many coaches who were great players are often thrust into a coaching role before they are ready. However, coaches - no matter how successful their playing careers - need to first grow their coaching knowledge by attending courses, reading, coaching and learning from other coaches.
Become the best coach you can be - our Coaching Pathway is there to develop you at every stage of your coaching journey.