5 Coaching Tips

Every few months now we see some video of a terrible coach yelling and screaming negative comments during a grappling tournament. These comments have even been directed at children.

This got me thinking about what it really means to coach someone in a BJJ tournament. There are a lot of complexities, but what really makes up a desirable coach for kids and adults alike?

People think that coaching is easy, but it’s not. In fact, coaching is very complex, but people make it seem easy because so many coaches are not doing a very good job.

So, here are the tops traits to look for in someone who is going to coach you at a tournament.

1) They Know Your Game: This is always overlooked and is extremely important. If your instructor does not know your personal game, he cannot serve you well. Sure he knows the positions and he can give you general tips, but if he is coaching you into a position you don’t prefer, you have a problem.

2) Understanding: A coach has to be able to push you to be your best, but also has to be understanding when you lose. Your coach should preferably have competed many times herself, suffering both defeat and victory. She should know that things on the inside are not always what they appear to be.

3.) Respectful:  This goes without saying, but is the whole premise for this article. A coach should only argue with people when it is necessary and should never talk in an aggressive, derogatory manner about any athlete, team, or referee.

4.) Know The Rules: This is also extremely important. A coach should know the rules inside and out. There should be no surprises about scoring or position legality. Yes, sometimes the promotion or refs make mistakes, but that’s beside the point.

5.) Feedback: A coach should be able to pay close attention to the matches and the details in order to give you proper feedback on both the things you did well and the things that need work. This can of course be aided by video, but your coach should have a high attention to the details.

What other things do you look for in a coach for a tournament? Keep in mind this is not referring to your gym’s instructor, but to coaches in general. Some people may end up being coached by another student when their instructor is busy at another match, so that’s why some of these seemingly simple characteristics may play a more vital role than you had believed.




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