A look at the similarities and differences between coaches and instructors.

A look at the similarities and differences between coaches and instructors

The labels ‘coach’ and ‘instructor’ are often used interchangeably and share many characteristics. What we need to understand and appreciate is that there is a fundamental difference between the two titles.

Similarities between coaching and instructing.

Both include the delivery of technical information that help an individual develop accurate and competent technique. Accompanying this will be the underlying physical and psychological preparation training programmes necessary to facilitate technical skill acquisition. This work will be the result of good planning and scheduling.

Clearly, in both cases, delivery is based on suitable and appropriate two-way communication between your students and you.

Differences between coaching and instructing.

The Professional Golf Association (PGA) of Canada professional Louis Melanson, summed it up well “Teaching or instruction is more technical, like a specialized skill set,” he says. “Coaching on the other hand, you oversee the entire development of a player rather than just a small part.”

At one end of the scale, instructing is about telling (or ordering) someone to do something, especially in a formal, official or specific way. It can be timebound, with set timescales in which to achieve an outcome. At its strictest, instructing can be seen as heavily regimented.

Coaching takes the instructing element one step further and encases it in other essential roles and responsibilities, taking a holistic approach, such as:

  • Taking a longer-term perspective on the development of students.
  • Appreciating the need to adapt the method of delivery to account for different styles of learning.
  • Fully adopting a clear and effective ethical way of working, especially being inclusive and mindful of adaptations to the training programme to account for individual needs.
  • Accepting and abiding by laws, regulations and recommendations designed to protect you and others (especially your students). Included in this is operating within clearly defined parameters for safeguarding.

What does this mean to me?

Whatever title you adopt or operate under, clearly it needs to represent the whole package.

Coach Education

Our aim is to support, develop and grow our club network, enabling clubs to offer quality products and services to their individual members.

We can work with you to support your club, train and develop new coaches & instructors, and grow participation in Taekwondo.

British Taekwondo Assistant Coach Award

Members of British Taekwondo are now able to complete the new Assistant Coach Award.

The Assistant Coach Award has been created to help all those assisting sessions gain invaluable knowledge and experience, whilst working alongside their club coach in a class setting as they progress through the award.

All current Assistant Coaches within British Taekwondo clubs or, members who are 16 years or older with a red belt or higher grade hoping to get into coaching, can sign up to take the British Taekwondo Assistant Coach Award.

Find out more here.

What’s your take on the subject? Let us know in the comments.

To find out more about our education development work, please contact Neil Burton, Education Officer via education@britishtaekwondo.org