May 03

Tip of the Month – April

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Coach Monika Says…

Five Effective Leadership Practices

February 11, 2019: The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees stated, “they stand for ‘sport free’ harassment, abuse and discrimination of any kind” after a CBC investigation reported more than 200 coaches in Canadian Amateur Sports have been convicted of sexual offences over a 20-year period, and the list keeps growing!

March 27, 2019: Long time National and Olympic Coach and Program Director in Canadian Track and Field has been suspended by Athletics Canada in the midst of a sexual harassment investigation. His club reprimanded him twice before in 2016. Despite the ban he continued to train his athletes in December 2018 and January 2019 in California. The President of the club in Ottawa was also suspended because he failed to take remedial actions!

April 3, 2019: Canadian women’s soccer calls for change. In the Under-20 national talent pool twelve players are backing allegations against the coach (2007-2008). Accusations: experiencing abuse, manipulation, inappropriate behaviour, sending sexual messages, lewd comments about player’s wet and sweaty jerseys, and rubbing player’s thighs. Have you ever wondered about excellence in coaching and leadership qualities? 

What makes a ‘great’ coach? 

…The goal of great coaching is to guide, inspire and empower an athlete or team to achieve their full potential. A great coach, thus, should also be an exceptional leader. A leader has the ability to unify a group of players and make them committed to a single purpose…

What about coaching qualities?

Here are some key qualities that distinguish a good coach from a great coach:

  1. Leadership: The goal of great coaching is to guide, inspire and empower an athlete or team to achieve their full potential.
  2. Knowledge
  3. Motivation
  4. Knows the Athlete
  5. Consistency
  6. Effective Communication Skills

What is leadership?

  1. Vision
  2. Motivation
  3. Serving
  4. Empathy
  5. Creativity
  6. Thoroughness
  7. Managing
  8. Team Building
  9. Taking Risks
  10. Improving

What is effective leadership? 

…Effective leadership includes strong character.

Leaders exhibit honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and ethics. Leaders act in line with how they speak, and earn the right to be responsible for others’ success in the company. Strong leadership involves clear communication skills…

Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) offers the Module  “Coaching and Leading Effectively” in its coach education/certification program. According to the Canadian Coaching Association:

…The five leadership practices of exemplary leadership and the ten leadership commitments, “the behaviours that serve as a basis for learning to lead” are presented below. Although there are five practices, there is no linear sequence in their practice though leadership requires practicing all of the following behaviours to various degrees at different times. 

1. Model the way

  • Clarify your values by finding your voice and affirm shared ideals
  • Set the example by aligning actions with shared values

2. Inspire a shared vision

  • Envision the future by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities
  • Enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations

3. Challenge the process

  • Search for opportunities by seizing the initiative and looking outward
  • Experiment and take risks by constantly generating small wins and learning from experience

4. Enable others to act

  • Foster collaboration by building trust and facilitating relationships
  • Strengthen others by increasing self-determination and developing competence

5. Encourage the heart

  • Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence
  • Celebrate the values and the victories by creating a spirit of community

Coaches need to foster their skills to coach and lead effectively to provide their athletes with the same skills to deliver clear messages and explanations when communicating with each other. 


Coaching Association of Canada (2019, March 3). Email to M. Schloder.

Coaching Association of Canada (2019, March 3). How to be a better leader: Five effective leadership practices. Ottawa, ON: #CoachToolkit.


Karstens-Smith, G. (2019, April 3). Soccer women call for change. Twelve players back allegations of abuse by coach. The Calgary Herald. Sports, Section B11.

The Canadian Press (2019, February 11). COC says “safety of all is its focus.” The Calgary Herald. Sports. Section B1.

The Canadian Press (2019, March 26). Track club officials suspended. The Calgary Herald. Sports. Section B1.

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