Top 5 Coaching Trends
The pandemic underscored the value of coaches in the lives of children to benefit their social, emotional and mental health. Coaches need to create a space where children feel safe and a sense of belonging – which isn’t always a given in sports.
1. Coaches need and want more help addressing the mental health of players. Almost all coaches said they feel strongly about their ability to coach X’s and O’s, foster a positive environment, and promote good sportspersonship. However, there was less confidence to deal with the mental aspects of sports. That was a key takeaway from the National Coach Survey, a first-of-its-kind analysis of coaching behaviors, experiences and needs in the United States. Conducted in partnership between The Ohio State University LiFEsports Initiative, the Aspen Institute, Susan Crown Exchange and Nike, the study surveyed more than 10,000 coaches from every state and in various sports and settings.
Only 18% in the National Coach Survey reported feeling highly confident in their ability to link athletes to mental health resources. This was coaches’ second least-confident behavior behind helping athletes navigate social media pressures. Very few coaches felt confident in identifying off-field stressors for athletes (19%) and referring athletes to support (18%). Beyond sports skills and strategy, coaches expressed interest in more training on relationship building (70%), performance anxiety (70%), motivational techniques (70%), leadership development (69%), team dynamics (67%) and mental health (67%).