Culturally Responsive Coaching
As a coach, where are you on the Cultural Competency Continuum?
Taken from Capitalizing on Cultural Competency. Dr. Patricia Morgan. US Soccer Foundation Blog. October 19, 2019. https://ussoccerfoundation.org/blog/capitalizing-on-cultural-competency/
What is Culturally Responsive Coaching?
Culturally responsive coaching is a way of coaching that acknowledges and embraces players’ cultures, languages and experiences and relates them to the learning environment.
To engage in Culturally Responsive Coaching you must:
- Be culturally sensitive or higher on the Cultural Competency Continuum so that you can
- Use culturally appropriate activities in your coaching.
How do you Develop Culturally Appropriate Activities?
To create a soccer environment that is engaging and accessible for all of your participants you should consider:
- Assess your own behaviour - Where are you on the Cultural Competency Continuum? What are your own biases about others? If you have players with cultures different than your own, you must be sensitive to those differences.To do that you must first be aware of how you currently act.
- Get to know your players - As a coach, you cannot create a culturally responsive environment if you don’t take the time to get to know your players. Do your research - talk to others who know or go online if you must. If there is a player who has recently immigrated from another country, for example, sit down with them to ask if there were any activities or traditions they enjoyed at school or in sports in their home country.
- Make your soccer environment a judgment-free zone - Players must be able to look at situations regarding culture with an unbiased opinion and be comfortable asking questions to further their understanding. If a conversation arises about a current event or behavior, welcome a discussion. But be sure the conversation is directed towards learning, not criticizing. Promote players valuing differences by encouraging them to speak up and ask questions when they are curious.
- Adapt your coaching - Culturally responsive coaching is a player-centred approach. Are there any activities/exercises/games you use that do not benefit all of your players? What activities/exercises/games seem to engage all players and get them participating enthusiastically? In education, research has shown that students are more engaged in learning and learn more effectively when the knowledge and skills taught are presented within the context of their own experiences and cultural frames of reference.
- Coach for all cultures - Make sure your language and actions touch on the various cultures that make up the players you coach. Even if your players represent more of a monoculture, bring in videos and stories that reflect the multicultural nature of the game of soccer. Use those videos and stories to teach your players how to become culturally sensitive.
Adapted from 5 steps to becoming a culturally responsive teacher. Written by Kathy Deady. Teachaway.com. August 12, 2020. https://www.teachaway.com/blog/5-steps-becoming-culturally-responsive-teacher
As a coach, it is not enough to teach players the basic skills or the x’s and o’s of soccer. You must help your players learn to be aware of and tolerant towards the diversity that exists in the world.