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Thanks Coach!

By sports coach UK Coaching Development Lead Officer Nic Beattie

We know that behind every successful athlete or team is their coach and it’s always great to hear those words ‘thanks to my coach!’ Time and time again during the Olympic and Paralympic Games the athletes recognised their coaches and brought them into the limelight to share their moment of glory. One of my favourite moments was Ellie Simmonds and her emotional reaction after winning her first gold - the first person she wanted to see was her coach!

It is fair to say coaches experience the highs and lows of a team or athletes career and what keeps them motivated is very much individual. But at the same time we know coaches are often feeling unsupported and as many as 200,000 quit coaching each year in the UK.

Many of the reasons coaches quit are due to personal and life changes, perhaps starting a family for example. However there are a shocking 30% who are leaving because of lack of support or opportunities!

Some of the suggestions coaches gave to improve support focused on:

  • Better communication
  • Increased access to funding
  • More individual support
  • Better use of technology (for example use of social media)

Recent research I have seen suggests that often ‘thanks coach’ can be enough! We are all human beings and many of us coaching voluntarily but how often do we get a thank you. As a coach – how are you recognised?

Here is a starter for ten of some of our ideas to say thanks coach!

  • Simply say thank you!
  • Send a thank you card
  • A personal note at the end of a season
  • A special mention at any club events
  • Nominate your coaches for an award
  • Include a thank you in any reports or press releases
  • Run a social event for your coaches
  • Create a coaching wall of fame
  • Run a coach of the month scheme
  • Say thank you through social media (maybe twitter or facebook)

Here is a nice ‘thanks coach’ montage from the gymnastics at London 2012!


What tips and ideas can you share? How do you say thank you? Please add your comments.

More on the above research can be found here


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