Let me start this blog by asking you a question. If you are booking your children in for swimming lessons would you be happy with them learning from somebody that had never swam but had done a couple of weekend coaching courses and possibly learned from books or videos? I would hope that like me you would find this completely ridiculous and also potentially dangerous.
So now imagine the same question being asked regarding a contact sport such as boxing or martial arts or rugby. It is becoming all too common to find out coaches that have never competed in their respective sport.
How can a boxing or kickboxing coach possibly be able to understand How his fighter is feeling when he has never experienced it himself when he has never experienced the pain the Emotion or the fatigue himself. Therefore wouldn’t know how to factor them into the game plan.
Sports that are rife with this problem include rugby, football and martial arts. Many instructors in martial arts have gone through a very simple grading system but never ever completed, therefore making it impossible to be able to coach this or understand the intricacies that only a competitor would understand.
Rugby is a perfect example of this problem, with children often being thrown into full contact training with a coach who has never played but attended the RFU weekend courses.
My Son plays rugby but luckily amongst the “dry land swimmers” are two very competent coaches that do know what they are talking about. One who played at a good level regularly and the other still plays and is also as it happens the captain of her team. This makes them the only coaches that I feel are qualified to look after my son's safety correctly and know what they’re talking about and to progress him in his chosen sport.
So my advice to you when you are choosing a sports club is to ask the coach lots of questions. In the contact sports named above knowing that information could ultimately save you from a serious injury. When you have all the relevant information, you can make an informed choice as to whether or not you want this person as your coach.