'People person' JON COTTERILL-BOLSOVER provides tips for getting the best out of players and managing conflicts. ANDREW RAEBURN asks the questions MORE
Treat your players as people – it will pay off
That young player who’s late. Maybe she’s late, not out of disrespect for you as her coach or for her team mates.
Maybe she’s late because her home life is complicated. Or maybe she’s late because she hasn’t learned any competencies around conscientiousness that others have.
That gifted player who never seems to listen to your coaching points. He’s frustrating isn’t he? But that’s okay – who said coaching was easy.
Perhaps there are other ways to coach him. Perhaps be curious about what he sees on the pitch. Perhaps inquire about what he’s experiencing. Go to work with him rather than against him.
Empathise. Ask questions. Suggest where you can, give reasoned instructions where you can, but engage with a facilitative process rather than with a top-down rant.
The players in front of you are people – and people are complex and can have complicated lives.
The players who get so frustrated and angry, or down and despondent, I’m sure make you frustrated and angry, or down and despondent, right?
But maybe they want so badly to do so well that it’s tough for them to manage their feelings and their emotions. Or maybe no-one has ever shown them techniques to be mentally skilful.
“Players are people – and people are complex with complicated lives…”
If the idea of mental resilience is foreign to them – a set of behaviours distant and from a far-off land – then try to teach them the tools, techniques, competencies and skills to help them manage their sensations, feelings, emotions and behaviours. It’s a lot simpler than you’d think!
After all…the players in front of you are people – and people are complex and can have complicated lives. See the people you coach as complex with complicated lives, no doubt just like yourself.
That’s not to be negative – that’s to be realistic. That’s to appreciate the human condition. That’s to respect the challenge of coaching. That’s to understand that success as a coach can’t necessarily be found on a score sheet or on a leaderboard, but more in a relationship or in a coaching practice that shifts behaviour and makes the once inflexible, flexible.
Remember. The players in front of you are people – and people are complex and can have complicated lives.
Because of this, coaching is one of the toughest hobbies or professions you can engage in. As a coach that’s your burden – but it’s also your privilege.