Coaches organize, instruct, and teach amateur and professional athletes in fundamentals of individual and team sports. In individual sports, instructors may often fill this role. Coaches train athletes for competition by holding practice sessions to perform drills and improve the athlete's skills and conditioning. Using their expertise in the sport, coaches instruct the athlete on proper form and technique in beginning and later in advanced exercises attempting to maximize the players potential.
Along with overseeing athletes as they refine their individual skills, coaches also are responsible for managing the team during both practice sessions and competitions. They may also select, store, issue, and inventory equipment, materials, and supplies. During competitions, for example, coaches substitutes players for optimum team chemistry and success.
In addition, coaches direct team strategy and may call specific plays during competition to surprise or overpower the opponent. To choose the best plays, coaches evaluate or "scout" the opposing team prior to the competition, allowing them to determine game strategies and practice specific plays. As coaches, advocating good sportsmanship, promoting a competitive spirit, tutoring fairness, and teaching teamwork are all important responsibilities.
Many coaches in high schools are primarily teachers of academic subjects and supplement their income by coaching part-time. College coaches consider it a full-time discipline and may be away from home frequently as they travel to scout and recruit prospective players. Coaches sacrifice many hours of their free time throughout their careers, particularly full-time coaches at the professional level, whose seasons are much longer than those at the amateur level.