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5 Great TED Talks for Coaches

Here are 5 Great TED Talks for Coaches. The role of a coach extends beyond the playing field, and these TED talks for coaches can help coaches inspire the athletes that look to them for guidance.

Having a mentor can dramatically decrease risk factors and promote positive behaviors in youth, yet as many as one in three youth have never had a mentor. In addition to contributing to the physical health of an athlete, a coach can serve as an informal mentor and help put the athlete on the path to success.

5 Inspirational TED Talks About Coaching

  • “Leading and Coaching” by Mark Smith
  • “The Power of Belief — Mindset and Success” by Eduardo Briceno
  • “Youth coaching — More than a game” by Anna-Lesa Calvert
  • “Every Kid Needs a Champion” by Rita Pierson
  • “Sports Psychology – Inside the Mind of Champion Athletes” by Martin Hagger

1. Leading and Coaching by Mark Smith

For Mark Smith, coaching is about influencing, supporting, and celebrating those around him. This gold medal-winning athlete and coach talk about his transition from being a leader to being a coach. He applies these lessons to both coachings a sports team and managing a workforce. His focus on changing the culture of a team by training positive leaders serves as a model throughout Canada. This 18-minute TED talk for coaches is from 2016.

2. The Power of Belief — Mindset and Success by Eduardo Briceno

This 2012 TED talk discusses the importance of developing a growth mindset vs a fixed ability mindset. Instead of focusing on building grit or persistence, social science research by Carol Dweck from Stanford shows that these traits naturally come from having a growth mindset. Cultivating a culture that praises growth instead of natural abilities can lead to greater success for all. This growth mindset can influence a range of abilities including problem-solving, playing sports, or managing people. He ends this inspirational talk with some concrete tips to instill a growth mindset in others so that they may reach their greatest potential.

3. Youth Coaching — More than Game by Anna-Lesa Calvert

Youth development is the focus of this TED talk for coaches from 2015. Anna-Lesa Calvert discusses the long-term benefits that playing sports can have on youth. Her program focuses on integrating health and wellness in physical training, which can have lasting positive impacts on youth. She also talks about the mentor role coaches can play, and how that can support the athlete achieve success in life.

4. Every Kid Needs a Champion by Rita Pierson

This funny and inspiring TED talk from 2013 gets at the heart of successfully working with youth: building relationships. When talking about ways to build relationships with youth, she stresses the importance of little things like trying to understand and apologizing. She also gives endearing anecdotes of ways to build kids’ self-esteem.

5. Sport Psychology – Inside the Mind of Champion Athletes by Martin Hagger

Martin Hagger, Professor of Psychology at Curtin University, gives an overview of sport psychology and lays out the basics of motivation and confidence. This TED talk from 2012 discusses tools elite athletes use to prepare for their performance including imagery, routines, self-talk, anxiety management, and relaxation.

A degree in coaching can lead to a rewarding career, allowing you to enter the lives of countless athletes and leave a lasting, positive influence. While certainly challenging and at times exhausting, coaching can lead to lifelong friendships and the excitement of participating in an ever-changing game. These TED talks for coaches can give you a taste of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat this career path can bring you.

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