Attracting new coaches to your club is a skill in itself - but choosing the coaches that are right for your club is an art form. You’ll want coaches that will fit in with your club members, boost performance and morale and, of course, abide by your club rules.
We’ll walk you through the process of attracting new coaches, including:
- how to recruit
- what attributes you should be looking for
- how to promote your vacancies
- how to review their performance
What type of coaches do you need?
First things first - it’s time to determine specifically what type of coaches that you need. Do you need coaches for your senior team, a youth team, men’s or women’s team?
It’s important to identify the areas where you specifically need to recruit new coaches before you begin your recruitment drive. This way we’ll be able to quickly and easily sift through applications based on relevant experience.
What level of coach are you looking for?
Choosing a coach of the right level is another important factor to consider. Depending on your budget for employing a coach, and also the requirements of the team that you’re looking to hire a coach for, it’s important to identify which level you need your coach to be. You could be looking for a junior, trainee, senior, or even a head coach. This is an important thing to nail down before you begin advertising your coaching job role in order to ensure that you’re attracting the right candidates and not wasting anyone’s time, including your own.
What attributes should you look for in a coach?
When you’ve identified which level of coach you need and for what specific area, it’s time to think about the specific attributes you’d like to see in a coach. There are a number of different attributes which can make a coach a positive addition to a club, it simply depends on what feels important to you.
A coach who is disciplined themselves will be able to whip your team into shape, introduce any necessary boundaries, rules for training, requirements for players and discipline in order to improve performance.
A motivational coach will boost morale, inspire players to perform at their maximum capacity and be able to bring out the best in teams both on and off the field.
While your team might have a great range of sporting ability, hiring a tactical coach will help your players to channel their talent into winning games. Tactical coaches will be best equipped to help teams create effective strategies against opponents.
An experienced coach will bring a wealth of knowledge to the sports club and could be extremely beneficial. Experience could mean within the coaching field specifically, or as someone who used to play the sport you’re hiring a coach for. Personal and practical experience are both great assets in a coach!
Hiring a coach that fits in with your club mentality, ethos and principles is important - and this might be the coaching attribute that you value above all else during your search.
Perhaps you need a coach that’s going to shake things up at your club and take you in a completely new direction. For this you might not rely on experience, but rather someone who will excite you throughout the application process.
You might initially think all of the above criteria are important attributes for a coach to have - and that’s true, but choosing which individual attributes are going to benefit your club the most will let you hone-in on finding the right coach for you.
Establish a recruitment and interview process
While the standard recruitment process would be an interview, or a series of interviews, there are a number of different supplementary tasks or assessments that you can include to appropriately choose the correct coaching candidate for your club.
Make your form fit
It’s important that your recruitment process is appropriately tailored to the type of coach that you’re looking to recruit. For example, if you’re looking to recruit an experienced coach, then ensure that your job application form or process allows the candidate to go into detail about their experience - which they can elaborate upon during the interview.
If you’re looking to employ a tactical coach to bring technical ability to the role, then it’s important to have someone on the interview panel who will be able to ask the appropriate technical questions in order to see which candidates measure up.
For a coach that is going to take your team in a new direction, you could ask them to prepare a presentation on their strategy for your team moving forward, including training methods, recruitment and player development.
Make sure everyone is represented
It’s a good idea to have a panel of club members interviewing for the new coach position. You’ll want multiple perspectives on each candidate - from other management team members to club players. Different interviewers will each bring something different to the table.
The key to finding the right candidate for you is to match the interview process with the type of candidate you’re looking for - so think of the coaching attributes that you’ve established are important to you, and then working on building a recruitment and interview process which will allow the correct candidate to show you what they’ve got.
Where should I advertise my coaching vacancies?
Once you’ve established your interview and recruitment strategy, promoting your coaching vacancy is the next step.
It’s worth mentioning that because coaching vacancies are so incredibly important to a club, many clubs opt for an "always-on" approach. This means they don’t wait until a vacancy appears in order to recruit. Instead, they regularly keep an eye on any coaches who are leaving other clubs in the area, are keeping in touch with any ex-players who might be interested in future coaching roles and are creating an area on your club website (if applicable) for coaches to send in their CVs if they’re interested in working with you.
When you’re keeping up to date with the current locations of good quality coaches in the area, it will be easy for you to snap-up potential coaches that could be right for your club. Of course, with the "always-on" approach there are some negatives - meaning the right person might become available at a time that doesn’t work for the club, or you find a coach when the budget isn’t quite there for them. However, longer-term it’s more important to find someone that’s the right fit and work out the details later than to miss a great opportunity for the perfect coach to join you.
For recruiting a specific coaching role, there are a number of steps that you can take for recruitment:
- Announce the coaching openings on your club website
- Message your existing coaches letting them know you’re expanding the team. They may have friends or previous colleagues who would be perfect for the job!
- Communicate with your network. Get in touch with your club members, their parents and your current sports teams and spread the word. You could even get in touch with former players too. This is a great way to recruit because you’ll know their experience, personality and work ethic - and it’s likely that they’ll know the club inside out too.
- Social media is a great tool for reach. Advertise your post on social media and encourage your club members and players to share the posts to meet a wider network. LinkedIn, whilst not usually useful for clubs, can be a handy tool for recruitment and will let you quickly understand someone’s work history too.
How to ensure diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion is something incredibly important to consider when doing any hiring for your club - not least for a coaching position. Ensuring that your sports club is adhering to provide equal opportunities and is shortlisting candidates without unconscious bias in play is incredibly important. Your coaches should be shortlisted and interviewed based on their suitability for the job, and factors like race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity shouldn’t come into play.
Our article on how to promote diversity and inclusivity within your club will be a great place to start when it comes to ensuring your recruitment process is both fair and inclusive.
What are your expectations?
It’s important to lay out your expectations for any prospective coach who will be joining your club in advance of them accepting the job. Think about what it is that you’re going to expect from them. Your coach should:
- be a good fit for the club and should both believe in and embody your club values and principles
- be committed to the team, should be on time and should set a good example for players
- be prepared for training sessions and for team games, utilising their experience to develop appropriate and beneficial training sessions for your players.
- be successfully developing the skill level of your players
- get your players responding positively
- be getting good feedback from players, club members and any supporters of the club
- be able to handle any challenging behaviour or personal circumstances within the team
If you can be clear about what you’re hoping the new coach will achieve, and set a timeframe for monitoring performance, then you’ll be able to assess their success versus what you had in mind.
How do you review coach performance?
Many people believe that performance for sports club coaches lies in the number of games won or lost. This is an important metric, and you’d like to see a new coach improve on the number of wins your team is having, but there are a number of other performance indicators to consider when reviewing the performance of your new coach.
10 ways to review club coach performance
- Is your coach a good communicator? Are their expectations of the team communicated clearly?
- Are they providing guidance to your players and offering them support when it’s needed?
- Can your coach handle pressure? How do they behave when your team is losing or has been given an unfair penalty, for example?
- Is your coach inspiring? Do they believe in what they say and do your players believe it?
- Are you seeing an improvement in morale and attitude within the team?
- Are you seeing an improvement in skill level within the team?
- Are you seeing an improvement in sportsmanship within the team?
- Are you seeing your team win more games?
- Is your coach able to get the team, the club members and the supporters to buy into their vision?
- Does your coach make your club a better place?
How to retain good club coaches
If they’re meeting (or exceeding) your expectations, are contributing significantly to the club and are having a positive effect on your team, then perhaps it’s worth considering what you can do in order to retain them, such as:
- Offer them an increased salary or honorarium
- Buy their food and drink whenever you meet up with them
- Offer an allowance for their sporting attire
- Can you incentivise them for success?
Think about ways that you can keep your coach happy to secure the improved performance of your sports team.
By following our advice above, you’ll be able to attract, shortlist and keep high-quality coaches for your sports club, understanding how to recruit them, how to advertise for them, how to choose them and how to keep them too.
Do you use any methods we haven’t covered? What have you found works well - and what doesn’t? Let us know.