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There is a huge difference between coaching children and teaching older athletes. In these pages, we are primarily interested in coaching children, and this is the type of coaching which will be emphasized.

Young athletes often look upon sports differently than adults. They participate to have fun. Knowing this, what type of coach should you be? There are three basic types: the command style, the submissive style, and the cooperative style.

Command Style

The command style gives out orders, rules, and rigid discipline. This coach carries a verbal whip as he/she attempts to whip his/her charges into shape. He/she knows what is best and no ten-year-old should question that!

The command style, as you can probably guess, is a pretty poor method of coaching - at least for children. It takes the fun out of the game and ends up with kids disliking both the sport and the coach. The command style should be avoided whenever kids are being coached.

Submissive Style

The submissive style lets the students do what they want, with very little leadership. This is basically a babysitter style, where the coach tosses out the ball and lets the kids do what they want. Although it is preferable to the command style, it is not a good method of coaching.

Cooperative Style

The cooperative style is the midpoint between the command and the submissive styles. This type of coach realizes that coaching is a two-way street. The kids do have input, and the coach who realizes this fact is well on his/her way to being an excellent coach.

Obviously, even the cooperative style has variations. You may wish to adopt it, yet tend toward either the command or submissive style. Sometimes it is best to use different methods depending on the situation and the students involved. Your job as a coach is to decide what is best for your athletes.

Copyright Larry Hodges

Copyright Mark Nordby, Dan Seemiller, John Oros

Copyright USA Table Tennis

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Last Update : 06 Kasım, 2002

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