Football coaches are more than just people that teach us basic football skills. They nurture us, increase our skill sets and boost our confidence. Football coaches should make us feel like the best versions of ourselves, and excellent football coaches all share a particular set of skills that make them amazing at what they do. Let’s take a closer look.
Leading By Example
Coaches are not simply there to improve our performance but are there to lead by example. Leadership requires a delicate balance of listening and instructing – instilling discipline in your team while still earning their respect, and being approachable enough for your players to come and voice any concerns. Hard work is required – not only to become a better football coach but also to show your players that you are willing to put the hard work in alongside them to make the team a success.
Leading by example also means that they take responsibility for the team’s losses, and this allows them to revel in their success. When things do not go as intended, a coach is there to take responsibility, analyse performance and set targets to become better. They do not shy away from criticism and face it, knowing that they need to do better.
Whether it is working as a coach in youth football, or coaching at the highest level, all professional coaches require a great deal of patience. Coaches need to understand that each individual player is different, and many require a unique approach. Some may require the direct approach, while some may require a slower, more gentle one. Patience is needed not only when giving feedback and nurturing your team, but also during training. Some players may master new skills quickly, while others will require more time.
Another skill that is vital for any brilliant football coach is communication. Communication from a coach again sets an example for all players to follow – and this can lead to increased communication on the pitch between them. There are many communication methods that a coach can utilise to get the most out of their players – from strong, motivational pep talks when they are losing at halftime, to words of encouragement for players who are lacking a little confidence. Coaches need to, at times, be able to deliver tough messages in a way that doesn’t upset their players, but instead motivates them to do better.
A Positive Attitude
And finally, one of the most important qualities that a football coach needs to display is a positive attitude. Granted, this does not mean that they won’t show frustration at some points during a game, but in general, a positive, solution-focused attitude has more of a positive impact on players. Great coaches see struggles as learning curves and opportunities for development and use even the worst of times to teach their players a lesson and improve their skillset.
Additionally, a great coach uses defeats or setbacks to help develop resilience in their players, allowing them to recover better from setbacks and increase confidence over time.