Coach and Professional Development Programs

Teams and sporting organizations that achieve success time and time again, have key factors in common. Does your coach or professional development program address these vital skills?

It’s often state of the art equipment, multi-million dollar facilities or the latest technology that grabs people’s attention. Yet when we look at the teams who achieve repeated and consistent success, it’s rarely due to their hardware. To be successful in sport, on the field, or in the board room, investment needs to be made. Importantly, the investment needs to be in areas that will provide a return and help the team and organization achieve.

You may have heard the question, ‘What if we invest in our people and they leave?’. But, isn’t the better question, ‘What if we don’t and they stay?’.

So, if we agree that we need to develop our coaches and staff, let’s explore the areas that will give us the biggest return by looking at what the best get right.

What makes the best, the best?
They have unbreakable relationships and people skills.

The top teams, coaches and sports organizations do make big investments. They invest significant time and resources in one key area – their relationships. They build phenomenal coach-athlete relationships, develop strong bonds between athletes and value the relationships across the organization. They see team-building as a continuous process and not an event.  As Joe Gibbs said, “You don’t win with X’s and O’s. What you win with is people.” This isn’t just feel-good stuff, it’s backed up by the latest research such as the study on super-elite athletic results.

“You don’t win with X’s and O’s. What you win with is people.”

Does your coach or professional development program address these vital skills?
Know yourself, your strengths, your strategies, your motives.

The ‘Own the Podium’ research identified athlete self-awareness as the second most important contributor (after a positive coach-athlete relationship) to accomplish medal-winning performances or achieving personal bests at the Olympic level. Athletes who know themselves the best know how to consistently create their best. As coaches, our role is to help our athletes build the critical skill of self-awareness. 

But it doesn’t end with the athletes. Coaches, management, administrators and other sports professionals all benefit from developing their self-awareness. Consider any leadership or emotional intelligence development, and almost any program you look at will start with this fundamental foundation.

Know your job, do your job.

If there is one thing coaches are crying out for, it’s how to instill accountability in their athletes. That’s because every successful team has a culture of accountability. Being accountable isn’t something that just happens. Successful athletes and teams have a system that helps them to be accountable.

Put simply, accountability in sport is doing what you say you’re going to do and executing the task to the best of your ability. It is taking ownership and making sure you ‘know your job and do your job’ 100% of the time. Successful athletes and winning teams understand, value and embed role accountability into their team culture. Again, just as important on and off the field, as well as in the offices.

Leadership from Within
Successful teams have great leaders.

Leadership underpins every great success story and leaves a gaping hole when it’s lacking. Consider all the best teams and organizations you know and you’ll find that strong leadership is always used to describe their winning edge. Thankfully, leadership is no longer seen as something you are born with, but something you can develop and grow with the right strategies.

But, a big gap still exists when we look at the research. In a coaching study, it was found that 98% of coaches believe an effective team captain positively impacts the win-loss record, yet only 27% of coaches do any form of formal leadership development. Leadership development of the whole organization is a consistent ingredient to the top teams, no exceptions.

Mastering Team Dynamics
What’s best for the team.

The ultimate differentiator of consistently successful teams are their coach or leader’s ability to know how to bring out the best in their unique combination of team members. They know that developing a winning team culture is not a rite of passage, but rather they acutely respect and understand it is a process requiring deliberate planning, careful execution, and steadfast focus.

Building cohesiveness and team chemistry with a diverse group of people is always their top priority, and they do not leave their team culture to chance. The best coaches are committed to creating an environment where each individual aims to be the best person FOR the team, not the best person ON the team. As legendary Coach, Lou Holtz said, “I’d say handling the people is the most important thing you can do as a coach.”

Read examples from the best in the business
People+Sport Magazine: Coach Development Edition

This edition focuses on coach development and education. It's jam-packed with articles on relevant and interesting coaching topics, valuable personal perspectives, and insights from some of the most experienced coaches, coach developers, consultants, and academics from around the world.

Athlete Assessments'

Coach and Professional Development Programs

Athlete Assessments contributes to and delivers some of the best coach and professional development programs in sport, around the world. From a tailored approach to slotting in components of existing programs, we ensure you are focused on the right areas, in a practical way to get real results. We welcome you to read what other clients have said about our programs, and to contact us to organize a personal consultation to discuss your organization’s needs.

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Bo Hanson

Senior Consultant & Director

Bo Hanson’s career within the sport and the business sector spans over 25 years, delivering leadership, management, and coach development. In addition to his own athletic career comprising of four Olympic appearances and including three Olympic medals, Bo has worked for many years with coaches and athletes from over 40 different sports across the globe. Bo was also the winner of the Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD) 2023 Award for L&D Professional of the Year, for his dedication to L&D and transformational work across various industries.

After a successful career in sport including four Olympics and three Olympic Medals, Bo co-founded and developed Athlete Assessments in 2007. Bo now focuses on working with clients to achieve their own success on and off ‘the field’, and has attained an unmatched track-record in doing exactly this.

Headshot Bo
BoRowing-Atlanta Olympics

Now, watch us interrupt him for a round of quick fire questions.