The Difference Between the Head Coach and the Rest

There has been a lot of discussion recently about employing Head Coaches who have no previous coaching experience.  Jason Kidd is an example from the NBA, Michael Voss is an example from the AFL. What both coaches have/had in common was that, when they were appointed with no previous coaching experience, their reputation as players lead people to proclaim, "well, if anyone can succeed with no previous experience, they can". This may actually be a true statement, if you consider it was declaring that no one can.

But this post isn't meant to be a discussion of these appointments, more looking at the difference in the roles of Head Coaches and other staff in sporting teams and organisations.

The fundamental difference is responsibility:
- it is the Assistant Coaches, the sports scientists, even the General Managers who have the responsibility to identify things that can and need to be done.
- it is the Head Coach's responsibility to identify the things to do.

From a very simplistic perspective, Head Coaches are the only ones who have to put as much effort into deciding what not to do, as what to do.

(thanks Sarah for the discussion that lead to this post)


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