National Coaches Week focuses on celebrating the efforts of the 5.3 million volunteers from Canada’s sports and recreation sector including coaches, referees, administrators and helpers. We encourage you to say #ThanksCoach and share why you’re thankful for your coach during National Coaches Week from September 22nd to 30th.

Volunteer Training is essential not only for coaches but all volunteers. It’s vital to ensure that volunteers gain the knowledge they need to succeed. In fact, volunteer orientation and training is one of the ten standards outlined in the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement (CCVI)!

But, knowing the best way to provide orientation and training for new volunteers can be a difficult task. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Plan the orientation and training process in advance
  • Make sure new volunteers feel comfortable in the environment and in their role
  • Try to inspire and empower your volunteers
  • Provide tangible links between the volunteer’s work and your mission
  • Use methods of training that are motivating and engaging
  • Plan to recognize your volunteers’ efforts

Volunteer Recognition is a part of making sure new volunteers feel welcome, it may also be beneficial to review Recognizing Volunteering in 2017 to learn how you can recognize your volunteers at every stage. For some help in planning volunteer onboarding and training, take a look at this New Volunteer Checklist. You can also refer to the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement – Putting the Code into Action resource.

The Coaching Association of Canada understands the importance of Volunteer Training and has created a tool to help new coaches and those interested in coaching to learn more about it. Get Coaching! is an online resource that combines a video tutorial with interactive learning and downloadable documents. In an increasingly busy world, it’s beneficial to volunteers when organizations allow for flexibility in their volunteer opportunities. Coaching is a big time commitment, and this tool makes it easier for busy people to learn more about what it means to be a coach, with no experience required.

Get Coaching! offers tips on how to adequately prepare for, plan, deliver, and conclude fun and effective practices. With downloadable resources such as a practice plan, safety checklist, emergency action plan and more, this tool provides coaches with necessary resources to get started. The easier it is for potential volunteers to feel confident and prepared for any volunteer role, the easier it is for them to jump on board. This tool is a great way to make coaching more accessible by allowing those who are interested in coaching to learn on their own time and without the need for a formal class.

We want to say #ThanksCoach, to the 1.8 million Canadians who have, or currently volunteer to coach amateur sport. Without you, millions of Canadian children wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn and play through sport. Considering becoming a coach? New to coaching and need some guidance? Get Coaching! is a great place to get started.