Free Character Writing Prompts #37:
Coaches and Athletic Trainers

Blow your whistle at these character writing prompts focusing on coaches and athletic trainers. Not everyone has had the esteemed pleasure and pain of being a high school or college athlete and dealing with a coach. Every single one of my coaches up from township t-ball was a character and I have many great memories of sports as a result. In addition, personal and team trainers are integral parts of an athletic experience for those working out at a gym or in the higher levels of athletics. It's sometimes tough to look past the mega-personality of professional athletes to see the coaches and trainers who have made their athletic prowess possible. If you have athletics or a gym as any part of your story, don't forget to have some coaching and training involved. 

Free Character Writing Prompts #37: Coaches and Athletic Trainers

1. While he was an incredibly tough wrestling coach who could pound you into a pulp, after someone pointed out his idiosyncrasies to you, it became difficult to take him 100 percent seriously. At the end of every sentence, he had a sort of nasally whine like you might expect a professor or butler to have. Whenever he had an arm or leg torqued the wrong way, instead of yelping in pain, he would laugh. He literally laughed at pain. In addition, when he took you all out on a jog, his head would wobble back and forth like a turkey's might. You made every effort to learn from him after his quirks were pointed out to you, but even if he had the best advice in the sport to give to you, you'd still be concentrating on that strange nasal whine. What would he do if someone called him out on his own habits?

2. You figured that if you were going to learn soccer from anybody, it might as well be someone who was born and raised on the sport as this Brit had been. Your team had some decent players and you hoped he would have some fantastic pointers to get you to the top of the league. Unfortunately, his hands-off approach mostly consisted of watching you all play and blowing his whistle every once in a while. If something didn't go your way, he'd say, "Unlucky," and continue to watch. During the many losses you endured as a team, the word unlucky was used many, many times. Where do you think he got his coaching habits from and would they work well on a different type of team?

3. As a young guidance counselor to-be, she was coerced into volunteering for a coaching position with the girl's volleyball team. She had played a bit in high school and thought it would be easy to put together a respectable squad. Despite her best efforts, however, the team was quite bad. She was a fantastic cheerleader on the side for them, but she knew she could do more. She wandered around the school looking for the tallest girls around. She struck deals to get them extra credit in some of their classes for a spot on the team and before she knew it, they were a force to be reckoned with. How did the teams they play approve of her methods of recruitment?

4. She wasn't just any football coach, she was a state championship winning football coach. She was a hulk of a woman who wasn't willing to take crap from anybody. When she wanted to be an instructor for an essentially male game, her friends and family gave her a hard time but when they saw her win her first title they began to lend her more credence. Perhaps she would achieve her goal of being a National Football League coach. Off the field, she was a jokester, but she never let her kids see that side of her, for fear they wouldn't take her seriously anymore. Can she reach her goal of coaching at the top and how fulfilled does she get from each of her team's victories?

5. He knew from the early days of gym class, that no other subject would ever measure up. He followed his passion of sports and athletics by studying to be an athletic trainer and a nutritionist. His goal in life was to help other people find the athlete living inside them through an exercise and diet routine. He was proud of all the clients he'd had that started overweight and left a triathlon or marathon participant. Outside of work, all he did was train himself to run in Ironman triathlons around the globe. Aside from loving gym class, what made him want to be involved in sports and training so badly?

6. If the players from his recent World Series winning team were to tell you their secret for winning, they'd say that it was his amazing conditioning and healing methods that kept them strong all season. He was a bit of a recluse to the media and to most people he didn't know, but when it came to the team, he was a fierce instructor who pushed each player his farthest in the weight room while healing them gently at the end of the day. He combined Western and Eastern methods of training and healing and was up to date on the latest technologies and treatments. In his home life, he and his wife lived happily in the modest house that his family grew up in. He was saving up most of his salary each year to build a state-of-the-art training Mecca that all area sports teams could train at. How did he rise to the top of the training world and when did he first make the decision to take up that line of work?

7. She knew that one of the reasons that everybody wanted her for a trainer was because she was extremely attractive and fit. She didn't mind, as it was difficult for her to maintain a body that she certainly did not have during her high school and college years. She did get a bit tired of her clients staring at her and asking her out. She was flattered, of course, because she was "that chubby girl" growing up and she looked into training to transform that aspect of her life, but she was perfectly happy looking for men on her own that weren't looking to drop 20 pounds. Describe the day she decided to change her life and the day she realized she finally had the fitness she wanted.

8. After winning the woman's bracket of her city's local triathlon, she had a vision in which she would look back and see only women coming. She began organizing such an event in which men could not participate. She coached a group of women in her area from all walks of life to get them into triathlon shape and that group became the core of the first all-woman race in the region. Word got out over the next few years and soon thousands of women flocked there for each competition. After the success of the first few, she spread her planning wings and set up similar events all over the country. How does she feel when she sees her vision realized and what will the future bring for her organization?

9. He had absolutely no interest in coaching, but when the judge gave him the option of cleaning on the side of the highway or coaching youth basketball, he took up the latter. He was somewhat of a legend in the area for nearly making it to the National Basketball Association but he never considered using his talents for coaching. He had been using his local fame to promote his business and he'd become extremely wealthy as a result. When he got his group of kids together, he saw that none of them had potential and he knew he was in for a long season. Unless, he could find a way to have fun and actually teach them something in the process. What will he learn about himself from the coaching process?

10. She was a teacher who wanted nothing more than to take the whole summer off despite her need to pay her interest-accumulating student loans. As a result, she worked harder than most to add in money-making activities to her already busy schedule. She took on a different athletic squad each season to boost her paycheck from the school district, even though she knew little to nothing about sports. She started with women's soccer, continued with women's basketball and ended with woman's lacrosse. She was the solo coach for all three and learned most of her drills, formations and rules from online sources. Each sport was a major challenge for her, but she envisioned sitting by the pool and relaxing for three months straight to get her past each hurdle. If money suddenly became no issue for her life would she continue any of the sport and why? 

Did you enjoy these character writing prompts? Keep an eye out for the book 1,000 Character Writing Prompts in late 2011. 

Done with Character Writing Prompts about Coaches? Go back to Creative Writing Prompts.

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.
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