The Coach Diary Quotes & Much More..

I’m starting this post, to share my quotes and opinions with you. All of them are inspired by other coaches, comment and posts from the blog. Please feel free to use, share or even add to them.

These quotes are written with the intention to keep me inspired each and every time I coach. I hope you too get some inspiration from them.

I hope you enjoy them.

How children learn and how we should teach

May 2015

“You cannot put your motivation on someone else. Motivation is internal”

Activity + Stress & Pressure = Avoidance. Create an environment where they can be successful and feel good about what they are doing and that is the internal engine for motivation. The things we love doing give us pleasure. Give us personal satisfaction.

When we think of things we don’t like doing, they are generally things that cause us stress and tension.

Learning should be fun. Learning should be positive. Learning should motivate.

Activity + Satisfaction = Motivation

April 2015

“Players should be seen as children first, students second and players last“ TCD

“Failing to win is not failure. Teams improve, players improve, coaches learn something and that is success. There is success in defeat. You can play a great game and someone else can just play better. Failing to win can just be bad luck”. – TCD

“If a child isn’t making the right decisions, then he/she doesn’t know how or hasn’t been given the chance. One of the great joys of coaching is watching children DO!!” – TCD

March 2015

“I didn’t change. I’m just learning from my experiences and constantly improving myself” – TCD

“One way to get better is surround yourself with better people” TCD

“Every child can learn, just not on the same day or the same way” TCD

February 2015

“Kids can only perform at their optimum level in an environment that feels safe. One that is emotionally safe, where they can’t be afraid of failing, where they can’t be afraid of making mistakes. If they are, they will get tense and tight and tentative and that will interfere with the fluidity of their muscles, which will translate into performance on the pitch. When children have the freedom to express themselves, creativity flourishes”.

“The biggest enemy to learning is the ever talking coach” – TCD

“Every child can learn, just not on the same day or the same way” TCD

“Coaches who love coaching, teach players to love learning” TCD

January 2015

“Over the years I have learnt to speak less and less on the sidelines. When players make mistakes during the game, try and bite your tongue and let that anger pass. Shouting or screaming at your players is actually counterproductive and will only cause them to play worse. You can certainly point out what they did wrong, but that moment is not the best time to do it. Write it down and speak to them in a 1v1. In every game there are coaching moments and you need to pick the right ones. Directly after a mistake is not one of them. Try and spend more energy focusing the players on what they need to do to correct the mistake, rather than staying with the mistake”. – TCD

“Your attitude is like a price tag, it shows how valuable you are” – ?

December 2014

“A coach should be “demanding without being demeaning.” TCD

“The curse of knowldege “Just because we taught something, does not mean it was learnt” – TCD

Sleep plays a big role in consolidating the learning, so we really don’t get to see what the player has learnt until the game i.e. training game or organised fixture. Don’t expect to see perfection and success in every session. However you might well see some of what they learnt during the game. All children develop at different stages and some will get things sooner than others, that’s why it’s so important to be patient and not force the process of learning. As coaches (adults) we want to see learning straight away, but it just doesn’t happen like that. Remember, children are not mini adults. TCD

November 2014

“Kids just cannot perform at their best every time they play. Why? Well because that’s not how life/sports works. Your best one week may not be the same as your best the following week. The life lesson here is no matter what the outcome, you did your best and there is always next week” – TCD

“Until your players know that you care, they don’t care what you know” @TomBatesCoachng

“A coach will effect more people in a year than those who never coach, will in a lifetime” – TCD

“Every child is gifted. They just unwrap their presents at different times” – TCD

“Children need the freedom to play and learn on their own. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” – TCD

October 2014

Another weekend upon us. Unfortunately some people will get emotionally involved in their kids game and potentially ruin the experience for everyone. Watching you child play is a fantastic experience, so live with those moments not in them. Think before you act – especially when you are in front of young people. They don’t want you to fight their battles. They want you to be there, be supportive and watch them play. The process of learning, does not come down to that single game. Be proactive – not reactive. If you are unable to control your emotions, for the sake of the young KIDS that play, then best to stay away and return when you are in control of those emotions. – TCD

You have a big part to play in affecting your players. In all three aspects.


Don’t underestimate your responsibility when it comes to coaching kids.

You can’t just throw a ball out and expect to achieve the above objectives.

The four points below, can help you:

1. You have to work hard on developing them and getting to know them.
2. Getting better as a coach with every training session and game. (Knowledge)
3. How you are as a coach will depend on your leadership. (Self Awareness)
4. You must want to learn and develop.

“How times have changed. I now evaluate the game based on what has happened in the game and not necessarily the result. It’s easy to learn nothing from a big win and leave thinking that was great but there are always areas you can improve on” – TCD

“Every person on the team is different, has something to offer and comes with a story. Get to know your players better. The best way to build team cohesion is in 1v1 chats”  – TCD

“LUCK: Happens when you work hard. The harder you work, the luckier you get; it’s more likely to happen to those who give 100 percent everytime” – TCD

September 2014

“I use to think that shouting (Trying to make them fear me) was how i motivated players but all this does is distract the player from his/her performance. It raises their anxiety levels and it certainly doesn’t create mental toughness; it actually does the opposite of that. There is a time and place for raising your voice, however you get far more from your players by treating them with respect than humiliating them. If you coach with fear you’re doing it wrong’’ – TCD

“Learning is a gift. Even when pain is your teacher”

Coaches are not always right. No matter how good of a coach you are or how many trophies you have won, at some stage you will get it wrong (I have already this season). Coaches don’t always have the answers. They don’t always make the right decisions. They don’t always say the smartest things. They do NOT always make the right decisions. Many can’t articulate their feelings without being abusive. They don’t understand every child they work with. They don’t always look outside of the sport for the answers to a child’s problems. They don’t see the child as a child. They can be insensitive and lack understanding of players needs. They can be unfair, even to their own child. They can rude and aggressive. Kids coaches are prone to making mistakes. Not all decisions work out, not all the decisions are the right ones. We are human like everyone else, it’s part of the process to getting better. Dr. Goldberg stats “The fact of the matter is that coaches are human and as a consequence of this human condition their performance as a teacher is always limited by and filtered through their personality, life experiences, knowledge of the game, personal problems, maturity and psychological sophistication. While some coaches are absolutely brilliant teachers and should be cloned, other coaches are abysmal and abusive and should only be allowed to work with inanimate objects” TCD

August 2014

‘Energy flows where your attention goes. If you always focus on mistakes then don’t be surprised if the players are focused on avoiding them’ TCD

“Learning starts with failure; the first time to fail begins the education” TCD

“If you think of children learning as a path, you can picture them walking along step by step, rather than been pushed, dragged or carried along” TCD

July 2014

I’m yet to meet a kid that deliberately my mistakes or plays to lose. So, when they do make mistakes, it is not done on purpose! So, why do we treat them as if that’s exactly what they did?!!! The next time a player makes you irritable or disappoints you, DON’T SHOUT AT THEM OR RIDICULE THEM! Try to HELP them. Make them understand what they did wrong and come up with ways to show them how to learn by it and correct it. Keep your emotions in check and instead of screaming the general nonsense we so commonly hear on the sidelines, try to take note (observe) of what you need to do to improve that individual. Intelligent coaching begins when you shift your frame of taught from ridicule to constructive praise. – TCD 

As a coach, if you focus on winning you are going to have a very frustrating experience working with kids. – TCD

‘Failure is the fastest way to learn’ – TCD

We now live in a sports crazed society, even kids sports can take over an artificial importance. We see coaches and adults going nuts when young athletes make mistakes or under-perform. Winning can motivate players to cheat, coaches can even encourage it. Then we see parents going mental on the sidelines, pushing their kids to do more when they have given all they have got. Expecting their kids to be like the pro’s when they are just kids. In no way are these kind of behaviours acceptable and nor should we ever tolerate them. Kids sport is not about winning, it’s about playing. That’s why kids play.They like to win. They enjoy competing but Children don’t value winning as much as adults do. They value playing more! TCD

June 2014

‘When we learn something new as coaches: The challenge is to implement what we have learnt and then work on it. The challenge is DEDICATION, the challenge is taking that learning into our coaching’ – TCD

The laws of learning: EXPLANATION, DEMONSTRATION, IMITATION AND REPETITION. You create the correct habit that can be produced without thought under pressure. Skill is being able to execute not only properly but quickly. – TCD

‘Children play sport because it’s fun. Take the fun away and you take the kid away’ – TCD

‘There is a great deal of love involved with coaching. That’s what a team should be to a coach’ – tcd

May 2014

The single most important question you can ask your child is, why do you play sport? Before you ask that question, ask you yourself the same question. If their reason is not the same as yours, – then you have one choice, forget about yours and accept theirs. TCD

“One thing I’ve learnt about players who play with a smile, you rarely remember their mistakes but never forget when they smile” TCD

“Being a role model is the most powerful form of teaching. Kids need good role models more than they need critics. This is the most important responsibility you have as a parent and a coach”. TCD

“Not enough coaches are trained to coach. A win at all cost philosophy is a major factor in creating a negative environment for kids who play sport. The person who uses this style of philosophy is often commanding or authoritarian and does not provide an enjoyable environment for players. The problem with so many coaches, is that they rarely have any formal training when it comes to creating a positive and healthy learning environment. A developmental leadership style is one way of creating good performances and a fun environment” TCD

April 2014

“If a kid is trying but can’t seem to understand what your saying, raising your voice to that child, never helps”

“Children don’t see what you see. They see what they see.” TCD


“If you’re not improving your coaching methods every week. Then don’t expect your players to improve every week.” TCD


“If a kid is trying but can’t seem to understand what your saying, raising your voice to that child, never helps” tcd

March 2014

“A lot of what I talk about, might seem like it’s not relevant to recreational sport. I firmly believe; if you coach then you should want to be the best coach you can be. That might mean learning to be a professional in an amateur sport.” TCD

“Be aware of your behaviour on the line. Ask yourself, what impact is this having on me & the players, right here, right now? Try this sometime: The six-second rule is so called because 6 seconds is the time it takes to capture the flight or fight response (ie: avoid the emotional hijacking). When someone has said or done something that triggers your hot button (gets you angry), take a deep breath and count 1..2..3..4..5..6 seconds before you respond. Try it.” TCD

“Football would be an even better game if players, coaches and parents learnt to respect the learnings of the game and the referees, before they begin their long journey with the sport.” TCD

February 2014

“Children are not mini adults. Children develop at different ages. Don’t force the process.” TCD

“One of the most important things for players is their intelligence; the ability to make the right decisions, under pressure in the game. Having an excellent relationship with the ball is part of this intelligence.” TCD

“Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer. To all those dedicated people who believe in hard work and no pay! But that’s ok, cause you’re priceless!” TCD

January 2014

“Truly great players’ don’t focus on winning, they focus on improving each and every day. A player should always train how he/she plays, but very few actually do. To be the best you can be, you should always focus on getting better.” TCD

“Your number 1 aim as a coach is to make sure the players you coach fall in love with the game.’ Having fun, is one way of doing just that.” TCD

“It’s limited freedom that prevents them from exploring.” TCD

December 20th 2013

“Children learn through play.” TCD

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine”  Bruce Lee

November 21st 2013

“When it comes to coaching, I can never stop learning and evolving. My coaching style does not allow me to stop” TCD

“If you really want to better your team, you must better yourself” TCD

“The process, is much more important than winning” TCD

October 2013

“If your team lost, don’t blame the players, the weather, the ref. Look at why they lost (If you weren’t observing you will probably never know) and ask yourself ‘are you doing enough to improve these players?’ What can I do to make them better? If you are truly focused on developing over winning, you will learn more in defeat than in victory. The makings of a truly great coach.” TCD

September 2013

“Coaches who makes excuses over their teams performance, need to look beyond the players. Shouting ‘Keep the ball’ and coaching ‘Keep the ball’ are two entirely different things.” TCD

August 2013

“It’s not about convincing people there’s a problem — many of us see that. It’s about convincing them that there’s a better way.” TCD

*Quotes inspired by Coach John Wooden, Carol D’Weck, Dan Abrahams, John O’Sullivan, Jerry Lynch, Vern Gambetta, Horst Wein to name a few….


I always like to hear your opinions. Please comment below or email me, if you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend.

Thanks for reading. I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

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