Three Types Of Coaching for Any Unique Team

Every Student is Unique 

When I think back to my first exposure to great coaching, High School Musical’s beloved boys’ basketball coach, Coach Bolton, is the first to pop into my mind. That movie was a classic and had to be one of my all-time favourites. Coach Bolton led the team to victory by supporting them as students and athletes – with a little bit of tomfoolery along the way. He cared about them as individuals first and used coaching strategies to accommodate each of their needs. He utilised different types of coaching for each of his boys in order to lead them to success.  

Types Of Coaching | Leaders of Evolution

This goes hand in hand with teaching styles. Every student has a unique learning style in both academia and sports. There are a number of different coaching strategies to be an effective and knowledgeable coach. It is important to identify these strategies before working on skill-building through organisations like Leaders of Evolution.  

Types of Coaching 

There are three different types of coaching: 

  1. Democratic  
  1. Autocratic  
  1. Holistic  

We’re going to break down each type, why it’s important, and the benefits.  

Democratic Coaching 

Democratic coaching is also called the “athlete-centred approach.” This is due to the level of independence and control athletes have over their training. This type of coaching is suitable for teams but especially great for individual sports such as track and field, tennis, swimming, wrestling, or even skiing! Team sports, especially at the high school level, may not benefit from democratic coaching because players have different goals and objectives. Players also change each year as students graduate, which makes it tougher than individual sports.  

The cooperation between coaches and individual players is what makes this type of coaching successful. Instead of a coach having sole control over decisions, players can set their own goals and regulate training. This collaboration and communication-based style opens the door to different opinions and allows for diverse coaching. Coaches are helping to facilitate the success of players, but athletes themselves develop a sense of personal achievement.  

Autocratic Coaching 

The second of three types of coaching is autocratic. This style is the exact opposite of democratic coaching. Instead of players making most of their decisions, the coach has total control over their team in autocratic coaching. This is primarily seen in professional sports such as the National Basketball Association (NBA) or Major League Baseball (MLB). The coaches make decisions with little to no input from players or assistant coaches. Coaches must be focused on the team as a whole in order to keep a winning record.   

This “my way or the highway” type of coaching works for the highest levels of sport because many athletes no longer require teaching. They already have the skillset to succeed; therefore, the coach can focus more on team building and leadership of the team as a unit. More players on a team could potentially lead to more conflict, so keeping the peace is crucial to success.  

Holistic Coaching  

The third and final type of coaching is holistic, not as common as democratic or autocratic. It is a mix of the other two types of coaching, though. The coach and players adopt a “laissez-faire” or hands-off approach where little feedback or training is required. The athletes have the opportunity to explore what works for them as individual players rather than feel pressured to meet a set standard. This style cultivates relationships between players and their coach as individuals, as opposed to a coach-athlete relationship.  

Develop your Coaching Style & Build Leadership Skills 

Coaches are able to develop a strong sports team using any of these methods. The most important part is finding a method that works for their team. Once that happens, the players can begin learning important skills like leadership, grit, and determination through an organisation like Leaders of Evolution. It’s difficult to have a successful team without proper instruction, take it from us. We offer a plethora of sports courses.

Check out Emerging Leaders in Sport courses to learn more about incorporating different types of coaching into your routine. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.  

student leadership, athlete development, Learning Management System

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Leaders of Evolution are passionate about education. We expertly design and deliver technology enhanced e-learning courses focused on leadership, social and emotional learning, career readiness and sports coaching for students, teachers, athletes, coaches and the wider community.

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Julia O'Leary

Has a passion for storytelling on a local, national, and international level. She fosters that love through her classes at Syracuse University as a writing and journalism student. In her free time, Julia is an avid traveler, skier, seafood connoisseur, and American football enthusiast. She has big plans to travel the world and a never-ending bucket list.


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