8 things that annoy sports coaches

student running

A student athlete runs a drill during a strength and conditioning camp at school. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Sports coaches love what they do. They have a passion for their sport and want their teams, players and athletes to be the very best they can be. 

To achieve that, coaches need willing players and athletes who give their very best with commitment and enthusiasm all the time.

This positive energy is infectious, but it can also be dampened by players with poor attitudes and egos.

If you are serious about your sport, here are eight things your coaches dislike.

  1. Lax about punctuality. Coaches take an extremely dim view of players arriving late to practice and on match days, or just generally not respecting time. It displays a lack of commitment and disrespect towards fellow team members.
  1. Poor energy. It is very frustrating for a coach to build a dynamic team or well tuned athlete when players are not switched on, and lack concentration and focus.
  1. Not a team player. Selfish players who put themselves and their personal agendas before the goals of the team can fall out of favour with a coach – and their teammates – very quickly. It can impact on team morale and winning performances.
  1. Interfering parents. Parents who coach from the sidelines, and get overly involved. This is infuriating not only for coaches, but other parents as well. Crucially though, it interferes with the coaching strategy of a coach and can crash a child’s or athlete’s confidence. It can even lead to them abandoning the sport they love altogether.
  1. Poor attitude. No-one enjoys having an ungrateful, inconsiderate and rude team mate or athlete around. 
  1. Fixed-minded players. Sports players with their own rigid ideas are difficult or even impossible to coach.
  1. Not applying maximum potential. Few things disappoint a coach more than seeing a player or athlete performing below their potential. A hard and committed worker will almost always rise above a more talented player who lacks drive.
  1. Ignoring the basics. Players overlooking or neglecting the basics of their trade. The basics form the most important foundation of excellence in sport. These are the go-to fundamentals of any sport when things start going wrong, and to regain form and pull back in a match that is not going the team’s way.

As with everything, if players and athletes give their best, they will love what they do and victories will be exhilarating.

And as long as the contest was hard fought, even a loss will have a touch of “awesome” to sweeten the disappointment – and be the motivation to go back to training with vigour.

The coaches that were interviewed: Husain Badat – Elite Cricket Academy Durban; Thoks Zulu – Assistant Coach KZN Coastal; Clive Naidoo – Delta Cricket Club; Myles Usher – S & C and Coach DHS; and a provincial coach who did not want to be named.