When you choose coaching as a hobby, or full time job, you should know that it is not only important that you have soccer knowledge, experience as a player or tactical game understanding, you must have special ingredient in your own personality. Coaching job is not only on the field of play, it is much wider. Coach is the teacher, a parent, friend, buddy, but all of this at the right time, not all at once. You need to know when to apply which role in order to be effective.
Like the coaches, players, at any age, have their personal characteristics that they bring to the training. They are all different with the common aim – to fit in the group, find their place being the highest ranked possible, and to prove their qualities to the coach. From the various characters, mainly, there are the dedicated ones, and some of them that stand out with their attitude.
Dedicated group of players is recognized as well-mannered and behaved, always ready to work hard with no exception, willing to improve in every session and game, self-critical, helpful, and friendly with positive attitude towards teammates, technical stuff or supporters. Knowing that not everybody is the same, in most cases, the attitude makes the difference. We can find players with lack of discipline on and off the pitch; distracting teammates, taking their attention from the performance of obligations, coaches’ instructions, lack of manners, motivation that affects individual performance and, mainly, team’s effort.
If that kind of a player is talented, skillful, the one who makes a difference in a team with his abilities, how to approach him? He is needed in the team as he might be the one to decide the game and, on the other side, he destabilizes team’s atmosphere and puts the coaches leadership in doubts.
Best to start with is to learn about his background. Find out more from the people that worked with him, from the parents, teachers, friends. Quality information about his childhood could be the key factor. In that way you could get the idea of what made him that kind of character and how you could deal with it.
The rules must be the same for everyone. You don’t want to lose the whole group for one person. You should be flexible but firm, so the limit cannot be breached – it would have contra effect.
Coach is always on test, as the player’s ego is strong. This is his way to get the crowed on his side. When he reacts in a bad way, you must always be reasonable and don’t let him get you on the wrong foot.
Try to buy his attention and his trust. You can be friendly but don’t forget that you are the leader and that you are the one who gives instructions.
Be fair with him. Give him praise and attention when he deserves, but be critical when he’s making a mistake. Find the right module in choosing the words, you can be different to the others with your approach, the group will understand.
When he makes any kind of success, he takes it for himself, so don’t expect from him to appreciate your hard work, dedication to the team and do not allow this to affect your behaviour or hurt your feelings. This is the part of his lifestyle.
Players have mixed feelings about him, too. They want him in a team for his abilities, but most of them are probably annoyed with his attitude. You must find balance and winning situation for your team and yourself. The number one advice is – always be fair. Your team will recognize this and stay united. Once they feel they are trying harder and are in subservient position, they turn against you.
Almost every coach has this dilemma some time in his career. The decision is on you, whether you opt to work and live with him throughout the season, going through ups and downs in your relationship with him, or your decision is to focus on the group only.
One thing I know for sure is that coach always plays players that he trusts.
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