Terminology/Glossary of Terms

The below glossary on terminology used in this document was provided by Sport Ireland Coaching and is in line with the International Council for Coaching Excellence.

• Coaching is a process that provides guidance, feedback and direction to enable participants or performers to achieve their goals in their chosen sport /physical activity.

• Coaches are the qualified persons who plan and deliver sports training, by applying demonstrable skills and knowledge, for performance, recreation or healthy goals in a safe manner.

• An instructor facilitates skill development to allow independent participation in the activity or participation under minimal supervision.

• A leader leads or guides participants in safe and enjoyable participation in sports and activities. While a leader equips participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to allow safe participation in that activity, they do not intentionally develop skills and knowledge to allow independent participation in the activity.

• A qualified coach, instructor or leader has demonstrated that they have met defined standards of knowledge, skills and practice.

• A Coach Developer or Instructor Developer leads the education and training of coaches or instructors and supports them as they learn and develop.

• Athlete/Player – for the purposes of this document, this term is used to describe the active participants in the sport, e.g. the athletes/players on a team, in a training group, etc.

• Community of Practice – A community of practice is a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.

• Wall of Support – List of options and actions an organisation could apply to their Coaching structures for their coaches and coach developers to support and enable them in their practice (See Appendix 1, Wall of Support for Coaches).

• Co-coaching can be a two-way learning opportunity; working in pairs/triads, participants can take turns as a Coach and as an Observer to learn, provide feedback and gain multiple perspectives.

• The role of an assistant coach might involve the following; supports the head or main coach, ensures that equipment and facilities are maintained, performs administrative duties, has a role in coaching the team/athlete. Assistant coaches can also schedule and supervise practice sessions and organize team events.

• Shadowing involves observing a coach in their job to gain a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of that coach. Coaches and trainee coaches often use shadowing opportunities to get a taste for a particular job that they might be considering.

• Coaching internships can provide an environment in which developing coaches are able to learn their craft through a hands on, immersive experience. Successful coaching internships can support the coach to become a high-performance coach by being immersed in a high-performance culture, and working alongside elite coaches and athletes on a daily basis.