The first method entails the coach making all the decisions and demanding that players follow instructions without asking questions. This is described as the “authoritarian” style. This style may help the athletes learn to follow orders, but will not necessarily help the young athletes develop thinking skills and personal qualities.
Another style, which may seem easier to adopt if the coach has little experience, is to let the players run the program. This is the easiest style to put into practice. There is little danger of the coach making uneducated or embarrassing mistakes. Unfortunately, the greatest shortcoming with this style is that the coach will not be helping the players learn skills and values.
The third coaching style is to let the players share in the decision-making process. Unless young people are given the opportunity to express opinions and make decisions, they will not become responsible adults. This coaching style is described as the “cooperative” and is the most difficult to develop because athletes and coach both want to win, but may have different ideas about how to accomplish this task.
With the “cooperative” approach, the coach must decide how much he needs to structure and organize the program,but should keep in mind that players’ suggestions often may not really contribute to the total scheme. But if athletes are made to feel important and that some of their ideas will be adopted the athletes will work harder.
A cooperative coaching style will help the coach develop a good working relationship with his players. The athletes will show more respect and be more willing to listen if they know that the coach is genuinely interested in their opinions.