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A practitioner is someone who specializes in a specific art or profession as a career or a hobby. Therefore, a sports practitioner is someone who is involved in sports as a career. Sport practioners consist of sport coaches, personal trainers, fitness instructors and sportsman/woman.
A sport coach is someone who is responsible for helping athletes to develop their abilities. A coach's responsibility is mainly to guide the athlete in order for them to attain their maximum potential in the field. The role of a coach is to find a way to create the best conditions for learning to take place and also to discover means of motivating his players. A coach challenges the coachee to work harder in order to achieve more than they have. They stimulate the stamina of the athlete making them better at the sport than those without coaching. A sports coach is the person who determines the direction, training, and operations of the team or player. A coach helps in the development of the players both mentally and physically. The coach basically trains, mentors and develops his players into great athletes hence making them better players in the team. In the long run, this translates into successful teams and players. The coach determines the performance of the team or player. A good coach leads the team to a great performance during tournaments whereas a bad coach leads to the downfall of the team. Therefore, organizations should carefully select the coaches they pick to lead their teams to ensure success. The role of a coach can be summarized as follows:
1) To help athletes to prepare their training programs
2) To train athletes on the appropriate language to communicate with in the field
3) To help coaches to develop new skills that can be used in the field
4) To monitor the progress of the athletes through evaluation tests
5) To predict the teams' performance as well as the outcome of the game
6) Provide opportunities and the environment that will be safe for the players as well as being motivating
7) A coach is expected to recognize individual player needs and act on these needs accordingly
8) The coach is responsible for the safety of his/her players and must act within a set code of conduct
9) Empowering players to improve their skills as well as make individual choices that will help them to develop
10) Work on building the players confidence and self esteem
A coach should be knowledgeable about the sport he is coaching. This will help him or her to impact the right knowledge and skills to the players. A good coach must also learn to be patient. This is especially necessary when the players involved are young and inexperienced. This is because the young players lose focus fast and the coach must get them to pay attention to their performance. For a coach to be successful, he must be disciplined so that the players can emulate him. This is effective as it gives the coach control of the players when they are in training. Moreover, discipline helps to make the training more effective and organized. Apart from being disciplined, a coach must be committed to the success of the team (Cook, 1999, pp. 57). The players view the coach as their leader. The coach must therefore, show the team that he/she is committed so that they too can get committed and take the game seriously. This is called,' leading by example'. Players are drawn to their coach and they are likely to copy what they see the coach do. Therefore, a coach must be mindful of his actions so that the players can get a positive attitude and demeanor. A good coach must be ready to learn new techniques in order to improve the skills he already has. Moreover, he must be able to withstand any criticism that may arise from his critics. This instills confidence in the players. Lastly, every coach in the world must have a practice plan. A practice plan helps the coach to manage the players' time adequately and also it will ensure that the players accomplish a lot from the coach.
One of the challenges experienced in the coaching field is that coaching bodies and organizations have set code of ethics that govern the coaches' conduct. This is done in order to ensure the client's interests are considered. Upholding this level of professionalism sometimes may limit the coach in doing his job. This is because every client is different from the other and therefore the coach may require to sometimes varying his techniques to suit the client.
Coaches are also faced with the dilemma of time constrain. Time is usually limited for coaches since most of them operate using contracts that have a time limit. This greatly limits the coaches as there is usually so much to teach the athletes. Apart from the time constraint, coaches are burdened by so much expectation from the players, fans and employers. This exerts pressure on them and sometimes this hinders them from having any social life outside the field. This makes them abandon their family responsibilities as they get obsessed over the games (Carelli, 2010, pp. 61). Moreover, coaching is a costly venture. Costs incurred during training may limit the coaches from fully exposing their players. These cost expenses may include travel costs, meals, protective gear and uniforms. This burden falls mainly on the coach who has to manage the little resources allocated by the organization to suit their massive needs. This demoralizes the players as well as the coaches making the team performance to become dismal.
A personal trainer is someone who helps people to exercise for fitness. The personal trainer ensures that the person exercises adequately in order to attain the level of fitness they desire. Fitness can be described in terms of muscular strength, body composition, muscular endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. Trainers are generally used to demonstrate different types of exercises and their postures as well as assist the clients to improve their exercising habits. A personal trainer experiences interpersonal contact with the clients enabling them to keep records of their client's progress. A personal trainer can also act as an advisor to the client. This is exhibited when the personal trainer takes time to advise the client on the best way to modify and improve their lifestyles to improve fitness.
Personal trainers make individualized training programs for their clients. This is important because every client has different needs to the other. Therefore, a personal trainer will be able to focus on the areas that need more time. This is especially important when a client has a chronic health condition, injury or some training goal. Another role of a personal trainer is to ensure the client focuses on results and follows the trainers plan to avoid unnecessary and inefficient workouts. In the case of athletes, personal trainers help in improving the players' technical skills. This is achieved through establishing training techniques that are specific to that sport. Moreover, a personal trainer can incorporate in his clients the skills to improve their strength and endurance when exercising (Willcocks, 1997, pp. 96). This is accompanied by an improved agility and mental focus of the client. The personal trainer is held accountable for the client's safety and he/she must therefore, ensure that the environment is safe to use. It is the trainer's job to watch the clients form and monitor their vitals so that they can be able to accurately provide objective feedback about the client's capabilities. The personal trainer should be able to improve their client's state of health and their general fitness.
A great challenge facing personal trainers is in pricing their services. There is no set mode of charging clients and the decision lies entirely on the personal trainer. However, this becomes a challenge because most personal trainers undersell their services because they feel uncomfortable about charging their clients too much. They feel they may betray the friendship and trust they had build through establishing intrapersonal relationships with them. This is also brought about by the fact that it is difficult to place a monetary value on someone's health.
Moreover, some personal trainers are faced by the challenge where their clients are very ill and may not be able to perform the exercises as required. This greatly stresses them as they are forced by the condition to underperform in order to avoid hurting the client. Also, since the personal trainer establishes an emotional connection with his/her client, this may at times cloud the trainer's judgment. Personal trainers are faced by many health risks as they spent their time working with sick people. This may expose them to many health hazards that may take a toll on their health as well (Howley, 2003, pp. 64).
A fitness instructor is a professional who gives fitness and exercise instructions to people. These instructions may be conveyed in books, manuals and even documentaries. A fitness instructor can also be called fitness professional. Some of the topics they may dwell on may include nutrition, self help and weight loss. A fitness instructor is faced by many roles some of which include:
1) To supervise activities in the fitness room and ensuring that all equipment are used correctly to enhance safety.
2) To ensure areas and equipment for sessions are well prepared
3) To encourage the people to 'cross train' their fitness programs
4) To conduct routine monitoring of equipment as well as their basic repair and maintenance.
5) To foresee the c leaning of the fitness facility as well as the equipment ensuring they are safe to be used by the next client
6) To provide safe training programs and facilities to customers.
7) To assist customers in the facility in using some of the equipment they are unfamiliar with.
8) To foresee the installation of safety devices in the centre
9) To ensure that standards outlined in the ' customer charter' are maintained in the centre
10) To maintain a positive and good image of the centre by portraying a good public image of the center.
11) To undertake assessment of products used in the centre to ensure their safety as well as complying with the wellness brand when required to do so.
Some of the challenges facing fitness instructors are the fact that the fitness training is expensive. This limits the number of able people who get trained for the job. In addition to the expensive training fees the trainers have to bear, they are forced to purchase training equipment that is even more expensive. This greatly discourages aspiring fitness instructors from joining the trade. It also limits the number of people who get to become fitness instructors to the wealthy people in society (Hyde, 2002, pp. 39). Moreover, finding jobs for fitness instructors has become difficult due to the rapidly collapsing economy. This leaves the trainees stranded with no jobs hence a means of earning a living.
A sportsman or a sports woman is a person who enjoys a sport. Majority of the sport personnel are representatives of their country of origin in international events. The men and women who excel in sports act as ambassadors of their countries during sporting events. This improves the public image of the country in the international society. As a result of their success in international events, these people are awarded large sums of money and their mother countries are also rewarded. This boosts the interpersonal relationship between countries hence fostering peace. This also, boosts trade interactions between countries hence the economy and living standards of the people rise (Anderson, 2007, pp. 98).
Sportsmen and women are faced by numerous challenges. Their careers demand that they put in a lot of time into practicing as well as in travelling to national events. This has a negative toll on their social lives as they are hardly ever at home to be with their families. As a result of these, most of them get into deep depressions as they lack contact with their loved ones. Moreover, they are constantly bombarded by the press and their lives are mostly made public to all. This deprives them of any sense of privacy. There is also the issue of bad managers who manipulate them. This poor representation negatively affects their performance. Also, the constant travelling they have to put up with leaves them with very little time to build and develop them. Therefore, when they retire from their jobs, they are left with the dilemma of where to begin and this frustrates them a great deal. As a result, some indulge in drinking and substance use to try and mask all the emptiness they are faced with.