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What Makes a Great Coach?

So what makes a great coach? Think back to your youth days and playing sports on a team. At iSport360, we ask our customers, employees, and friends what makes a great coach. Here are 5 qualities that come up over and over again.

And not only did we want to list out the top 5 qualities, but we also want to help our fellow coaches with how they can deploy these qualities into what they do every day.

What Makes a Great Coach?

  1. Caring
  2. Enthusiastic and Energetic
  3. Knowledgeable 
  4. Strong Communicator 
  5. Makes The Sport Fun


Caring coaches are present “in” the moment. They go out of their way to provide feedback to the team and to the individual players. These coaches know their players and not just on the field but know what is happening when they are off the field. These coaches make EVERYONE feel like they are part of the team from the bench players to the 1st ones into the starters – everyone has 1 mission. The coach’s ability to care about everyone brings out the best in the group.

How to show you care:

Look players in the eye, give them feedback, and tell them something kind like “nice new cleats” or “I like how you did X”. This shows that you took the time to think of them and only them.

Enthusiastic and Energetic

Everyone wants a coach that wants to be coaching and who wants to be coaching at that moment in time. These coaches bring a level of energy to practice and the game. This energy is usually contagious and the players want to do their best. This also leads to having a fun environment but make no mistake, these coaches have the will to win and want to instill that into their players.

How to show enthusiasm:

Do you cheer with your team and celebrate the small wins on and off the field? Start by doing that. Act like you want to be there, your players will feed off of your energy.

Clear Communicator & Connector

Knows what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. While not all personalities are the same, we love coaches that are upfront, provide feedback and keep people in the loop. Players want coaches that connect with them. And not all coaches need to say something all of the time. Good coaches are observant and don’t need to speak at every moment, they know when silence could be better.

How to show you are a good communicator:

Do not be afraid to over-communicate or just sit in silence, allowing your players to think on their own. Players and parents should know the basics – who is playing, where, when, and what you need to work on. Drop a note of appreciation, feedback, or tips. This will go a long way.


Well, this pretty much speaks for itself. As a coach, you need to know your sport. That’s pretty much it. But do NOT get into a rut where you aren’t learning and growing. Sports change all of the time and you need to keep up with the latest.

How to show you are knowledgeable:

Just coach, tell your players not what to do but also why they are doing this. It shows you are knowledgeable but also shares with them why something works for their team.

Makes the Sport Fun

This is why players play, they play because it is fun. If you love the sport as a coach, it will show. Make it fun, this doesn’t mean just doing goofy drills or games, it means literally showing a passion. Smile at practice, your players want to work hard for you. It is ok to joke but also take things seriously and work hard.

How to make soccer fun:

Connecting with your players during breaks is a great way to make things fun. Do an icebreaker or team bonding activity like what is your favorite food or favorite movie. I like to ask my players what they are streaming right now (it also gives me good ideas of new shows to watch ;-).

Coaching is a continuous process and you need to be a continuous learner. Have fun and always put your players first, the parents and others will follow. Have FUN!

Koach Karl’s Note:
Ian Goldberg

Ian Goldberg is a sports dad, coach, and Founder of iSport360. His SportsTech Company helped over 100,000 youth sport coaches, parents, and kids keep their teams connected, active, and strong….through the COVID-19 lockdown.