As a coach I know I have a lot of responsibilities, so how I coach and how I get my points across are vital to the progression of my players. It is not just about progression on the pitch either – my coaching should also help them learn how to achieve their life goals away from the pitch.
I try to imagine what it must feel like to be coached by me.
Do I take enough interest in every one of my players and make them feel special? When they arrive at training or for a match I try to recall a key fact or occasion that will make each one of them think: “he remembered”.
What do you think it feels like to be coached by you?
When your players arrive what goes through their minds when they see you? Do you inspire them? Are they afraid of you? An inspirational coach will find players respond better – they will listen more intently when you are explaining what you want them to do in a particular exercise.
A coach that breathes fire should realise players are just doing what they have to because they are frightened. I want to inspire my players, not scare them. When I think about my coaching I want to base it on best practice rather than just controlling kids. Best practice comes from the activities I create, how I use them and the enjoyment the group gets.
A coach who smiles and praises his players will get much more out of players than one who snarls and shouts. So take five minutes to sit down and imagine what it’s like turning up to your sessions.
Are players having fun? Have you coached them in the fundamental skills – touch, passing, receiving, communication and heading? Do they know the rules? Have you explained tactics and sportsmanship?
There is a lot there, but think about how you coach, what you coach and try to get to know a little more about each player. You will build a solid foundation and a better understanding between you and your team.