How to Become and Elite Coach


Coaching is a combination of technical, tactical, and personal elements. Some of the best in their sport have weighed in on their top tips for becoming an elite coach.

Brad Kilb:
Former Head Coach of the Canadian Jr. Women’s Volleyball team, Former Head Coach of Women’s Division 1 Volleyball in Italy and Switzerland, and Former Head Coach of the of the University of Calgary’s Men’s and Women’s Volleyball teams.

“You can become a good coach with scientific coaching. You can only become a great coach and you understand and utilize the art of coaching.”

  • Develop a trust relationship with your athletes and coaching staff. Don’t be afraid to combine authenticity, vulnerability, and humbleness with your demanding and clear expectations.
  • You must coach with a style that suits your personality, values, and philosophy. Try not to adopt coaching styles from winning coaches just because they are winning.
  • Winning is a by-product of execution. Utilize your coaching skills and knowledge to assist athletes to become all they can become.

Damian Jennings:
Head Coach of the University of Calgary Dino’s Women’s Basketball team.

“One Top Tip is virtually impossible, as I have found that it is a series of efforts, contacts, staff & player talent, fortune and unwavering support from loved ones that create situations where success can materialize and turn into a journey where others may consider you elite at what you do.”

  • Be Athlete-Centered in as many decisions as possible.
  • Be 100% self-aware of who they are, who they are not, and how they can best serve/lead a team/athlete.
  • Care about detail…and actively seek the detail.
  • Prepare your athletes/players for the best opponents, not short cutting assuming the opponent won’t prepare ‘that well’?!
  • Be absolutely driven by their personal vision of ‘what’ it should look like.
  • Believe in out-working their peers and enjoy working toward the capacity to execute that level of work ethic.
  • Actively seek new knowledge and understanding from all facets of their personal sport, sport science, and leadership/management of people.
  • Delegate & Empower those around them to create personal ownership of their culture through a ‘choices’ approach accountability and teaching.


Kevin Mejia:
International Level Olympic-style Taekwondo sparring Coach

  • Really get to know your athlete. Know what makes them tick, how to personally motivate them or calm them down. In competition you are the one that should be able to calm them down and understanding how to do that is different for every individual.



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