20 Qualities of a Great Coach and 4 Skills You Must Master: A Comprehensive Guide

Motivating and inspiring athletes to reach their goals is a challenge that some coaches find easier than others. But what are the qualities and skills that make a great coach? Here, we explore the 20 main qualities of a great coach, as well as the 4 most important skills you must master to become a great coach. As you read this list, rate each quality from 1 (the lowest) to 10 (the highest). A great coach should have empathy and be able to relate to their clients and the struggles they face.

No matter how small or insignificant the challenge may seem, a great coach should be able to provide support. Great coaches have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and improvement. If there's a book, course, program, or training that can help them develop themselves, their business, or their coaching skills, they should take advantage of it. Curiosity is one of the most important qualities of a great coach.

When solutions don't work as expected, a good coach should be proactive in helping define alternative actions. It's very easy for coaching to fall on the priority scale among all the other demands of a manager's daily work tasks. The important thing is to establish a positive coaching relationship between the coach and the employees that incorporates the strengths of all parties. A great coach knows that it's not enough to just ask questions and hope that their client will find the solution on their own.

Great coaches are not afraid to set healthy boundaries with clients (such as not calling, emailing, or texting at night or on weekends), they're not afraid to interrupt coaching sessions if it's a client who isn't responding or isn't interested. There is no exact plan for a good coach, as each coach will have their own strengths and weaknesses. What will ultimately differentiate a good coach from a great coach is the constant and endless improvement of these qualities and abilities to continue to improve in mastering the art of training. Great coaches are able to communicate their messages, advice and feedback in a way that truly reaches their clients. They strive to learn from different training methodologies and models, testing different techniques to generate results for their clients and creating their own unique training methodology.

Great coaches have an incredible ability to walk a mile under the skin of their clients, but they keep enough distance to see the big picture and offer guidance and direction. Training sessions should be scheduled in advance and the coach should have a solid agenda for each session that establishes the mission of the day. A good coach understands that it takes time to make changes and see the results of internal and mental changes. Take it as a red flag if a coach isn't willing to hear ideas, suggestions, or reflections from other team members.