Coaching is a critical factor in any team's success, and it is essential for coaches to understand the different training styles to get the most out of their players. Rainer Martens, author of the influential book Successful Coaching, identified three main training styles: command, submissive and cooperative. Each style has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to understand them all. The command style is similar to that of traditional coaches, in which the coach makes the decisions and uses discipline to get the most out of his team.
Examples of current coaches with this style include Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Nick Saban of Alabama in football, and Geno Auriemma of U Conn and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke in basketball. This style emphasizes discipline and personal responsibility. The submissive style is less common but still successful. It involves making fewer decisions and offering minimal guidance, with less emphasis on discipline. This approach is often seen with younger, inexperienced coaches or in professional ranks where players have more experience than the coach.
The disadvantage is that it can lead to a situation where “the inmates are running the asylum”.The cooperative style is considered to be the “new school” training approach. It focuses on empowering players to be part of the decision-making process while also being better suited to each athlete's individual style. Examples include Dabo Swinney in Clemson and Lincoln Riley in Oklahoma in football, and Sheryl Swoopes of USC and Mike Boynton of Oklahoma State in basketball. This style can affect players' entire lives for the better. Other training styles exist as well, such as democratic, autocratic, laissez-faire and holistic.
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important for coaches to find a style that works for them and their team. Players should also recognize when a coach's style isn't right for them and either talk to him about their concerns or find a coach whose style is more conducive to their growth.