Being an athlete versus being a coach

Thanks to my personnal experience as a professionnal athlete and especially as a trainer of professionals athletes, I can help every person on earth who’s looking to get better, so they can improve on every compartment of their sport.

Indeed, being a great athlete doesn’t always mean you will be a great coach. History showed us great examples of athletes who were among the best in their sport but were never able to be great coaches.

Athletic woman runs in a sport competition with lights trails on the stadium track

Herm Edwards

Herm Edwards played as a defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles for the most part of his NFL career. Herm Edwards was notably known for his amazing touchdown and also for being a critical member during the famous “Miracle at the Meadowlands”. This play that helped Philadelphia in the 1978 season was then named the “Herman Edwards play”

Herm Edwards also played in Super Bowl XV with the Eagles and had 33 interceptions during his career.

FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2008, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs coach Herm Edwards yells instructions to his team during an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Kansas City, Mo. Arizona State has hired former NFL coach and ESPN analyst Edwards as its football coach. The school announced the hiring Sunday night, Dec. 3, 2017, and will hold a news conference introducing Edwards on Monday morning. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File) ORG XMIT: NY150

His tactical sense as well as his intelligence during his time playing made every sport amateur think Edwards would become a great coach. He eventually ended up coaching the Jets. Although his first games were good and his tactics were appreciated, he quickly ran out of ideas and was eventually traded to Kansas City where he quickly failed to be appreciated.

Head and shoulders of Atlanta Braves manager Eddie Mathews, 1974

Eddie Mathews

During older days, Eddie Mathews was known as one of the greatest baseball players of his time. Playing 15 seasons at the Atlanta Braves and being among the greats in terms of statistic as well as public enthusiast, Eddie Mathews is also known to be the first athlete being on the front page of the first ever Sports Illustrated magazine.

At the end of his carreer, Mathews became the Braves’s coach, and it seemed logical. However, Mathews went 149-161 during his first three season on the bench. He was never able to find a coach job again after this bad performance.

Wayne Gretzky

You probably know The Great One. Wayne Gretzky is widely known and considered as the best ice hockey player of all time. Despite being the goat, Gretzky was never able to be anything near a great coach.

Wayne played 15 seasons in the NHL and holds most records there are : Gretzky is the leading goal scorer, assist producer as well as point scorer in NHL History. In fact, Wayne had more assist in his career than any player scored total points in the entire history (goals and assists). Being the only NHL player to achieve more than 200 points in a season and doing this 4 times, Gretzky really is Mr Statistics.


When Gretzky became a coach, the statistics weren’t the same, at all. He coached the Phoenix Coyotes for five years straight and missed the playoffs every year.

The Great One is currently 143-161-24 as a head coach.


Isiah Thomas

I.T is one of the greats and among the best basketball players ever, playing his whole career for the same team made him known as a loyal player.

Playing for the Detroit Pistons for 13 seasons, Isiah Thomas was named an All Star player for 12 of those 13 seasons. The pistons were known to be a rough team and even the small (6’1 ft) Isiah Thomas was a dog on the field.

His coaching career, however, is not one to be remembered in a good way. Isiah Thomas completely destroyed the Knicks’s tactics and locker room atmosphere.

After some modest success during his first 3 seasons as a Pacers Coach, Thomas returned to New York and went 55-108 with his team, unable to save the mess he created years earlier.

Changing from NBA to college league wasn’t enought either since Florida went 7-25 while having Isiah Thomas as their coach.

Magic Johnson

Again, an NBA legend, Magic Johnson is widely considered as one of the best if not the best PG in the history of Basketball. The Magic won not less than 5 NBA titles. During his 13 seasons at the Los Angeles Lakers, Magic Johnson was named season MVP 3 times and earned his spot on the All-Star roster 12 times.

He was named as the Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach in 1993 and was on the bench for 16 games before he was fired. His record is 5-11 as a coach.


Diego Maradona

Some would debate that Maradona is still the best player of all time despite Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi playing the beautiful game. El Pibe de Oro won a whole World Cup for Argentina by himself in 1986. The man had it all, the technique, the dribble and the finishing touch. However, Diego didn’t have the coaching part of football in him.

Diego Maradona started his coaching career in 1994 with Corrientes and it wasn’t a real success. The Argentine club won 1 game, lost 6 games and managed to get 5 draws before another manager was named to replace Maradona.

The Golden Boy went on to learn more about coaching before he took over Racing in 2005. But the team won 2 games, lost 6 and draw 3 before Maradona was fired again.

His legendary name got him to coach Argentina, and it went a bit better, but the national team almost missed the World Cup and Maradona had to step down eventually.

Why ?

When we see an athlete or a player who is among the best in his sport, we usually think that he’s going to be a great coach. However, as with everything in life, teaching something is very different from mastering it. In fact, we even learn how to teach / coach someone or a team. Some athletes have the perfect body for their sport and just need the right advices and guidance to become the best version of themselves. Some of them are not able to precisely know and explain why they are so good. Eventually, they cannot better others athlete because they are not able to better themselves without a coach.

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