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IGNITE and Embrace Different Coaching Styles

A successfully fluid team of coaches can greatly impact the morale and success of a team. Consider the three types of coaching styles: autocratic (makes the decisions), democratic (facilitates decision-making), and holistic (has a minimally structured training program). We may not embrace one specific coaching style all the time. We may have variations of all three. A TEAM of coaches can utilize their style(s), personality, and strengths to become a powerhouse for their GOTR girls. There are also times our different coaching styles and strengths can conflict and weaken practices, team morale, and, most importantly, coaching morale. In this episode of IGNITE we will learn effective ways to communicate and build a powerhouse coaching team. Here are four strategies to consider:

What you love and enjoy doing are your strengths. Find what is your joy in coaching. Do you love bringing snacks and feeding the girls healthy, nutritious options? Do you look forward to the laps in a practice because you get to encourage moving forward and releasing stress and energy? Does talking with the girls and learning more about them warm your heart? Are you an excellent problem-solver? Does the idea of teaching a lesson make you happy? Are you skilled in communicating with other adults (i.e. parents/caregivers)? Find what makes you smile, look forward to each practice, and keeps you motivated as a coach.

Acknowledge and communicate your strengths with the other coaches. Acknowledge that you may have different strengths depending on the day, your mood, the team, or life situations. Make a list of your strengths- a good list is about 3-5 strengths. Communicate these strengths with your other coaches. As a coaching team, you can decide who puts forth the energy in the different aspects of the practices.

Sharing is caring and helps teams be successful! A successful coaching team, where everyone feels motivated and empowered, happens when responsponsibilities are shared. Divide up the responsibilities of a practice between the coaches to ensure help and support are given where it is needed. Don’t forget to include the activities that are not in the GOTR curriculum book that need to occur at practices. Some examples:

○  chatting with the girls one-on-one or in small groups to get to know them better

○  keeping the parents updated with progress and practices

○  teaching about healthy snack choices

○  supporting and empowering other coaches

○  storytelling during a lesson to make it more relatable

Bring each other gifts. No gift is too small to bring a smile to someone’s day or moment. There is a picture book titled, Enemy Pie (listed below), that shows a beautiful example of our actions having an impact on relationships. Something as simple as:

○  a small note of appreciation written on a notecard

○  bringing their favorite QuikTrip drink

○  a text of thanks after a practice

○  happy hour after a practice or on a no-practice day

○ have a Check-In meeting with the coaches before a practice

It is important to have a balance of coaching styles and strengths with your GOTR team. It models effective team building, cooperation, and empowerment. It provides security, safety, and reliability for coaches, athletes, and the team as a whole. IGNITE your coaching strengths and watch your coaching team become the powerhouse your girls look up to and need!

Shayla A is the Coach Mentor for Girls on the Run Kansas City. Her background comes from the classroom, coaching, day treatment schools, wellness, and advocating for children with special needs. She enjoys empowering and advocating for girls and coaches in every challenge and celebration. Connect with her for support and assistance this season via Leigh Krtec.


  • Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
  • The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • Change Your Questions, Change Your Life by Marilee Adams
  • The Soul of a Team by Tony Dungy
  • Stick Together: A Simple Lesson to Build a Stronger Team by Kate Leavell



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We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Non-profit girl empowerment after-school program for girls.

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