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Chris Chapman

The Importance of Developing a Coaching Philosophy

Developing a coaching philosophy is a journey of self-discovery and is forever evolving. This is the first article in a three-part series that offers insight and advice on how to approach the complex and individualised process of establishing your own personal philosophy

One of the fundamentals of coaching is to have a philosophy. As a coach, you should have a series of guiding principles for your coaching practice and managing your athletes/group. It is a lot more than a few scribbled notes, your favourite practice and some cones!

The word ‘philosophy’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘love of wisdom.’ This is a powerful concept as it suggests to me that the role of the coach is to impart wisdom to help an athlete improve as a person, rather than to focus on winning and success in its traditional sense. For many coaches these are combined within their philosophy and the age and stage of their athletes will influence the balance.

Your philosophy underpins everything you do as a coach; from how you design your practices, create and maintain your environment, to how you speak to your athletes, work with your parents/carers and support network and communicate your coaching approach to others. 

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Chris Chapman