When it comes to football, the details are everything. A player needs to ensure they have all their calculations right before they can pass the ball to another player, or dribble past an opposing player, or even shoot and try to get a goal. Although the execution is majorly done by players, there's another force that is responsible for the planning phase. A coach is usually the driving force that plans what a team is to do on the pitch. Without a coach, the players would most likely have no concrete plan.
If you have been wondering if you have what it takes, or you're simply interested in what makes the great coaches, here are a few tips on how to become a successful football coach.
1. Understand the rules and regulations
Rules and regulations are what govern any organization, or any field, and football is no different. To be a football coach, you need to have a clear and impeccable understanding of the rules. This is not too hard as you can easily access the rulebooks from various platforms.
Beyond just reading the rules, a coach needs to clearly understand all the rules and to know how they are applied both on and off the field. Since the coach is considered as the head of the team, the players will look to him for professional guidance. Moreover, the players will also look up to the coach to formulate the team's plans.
Finally, most regions have their own set of regulations and guidelines that football should follow, a coach needs to be acquainted with the rules of the region they desire to coach.
2. Read a book
Books are an invaluable source of information. They are the link between you and the person you admire. In this day and age, there are countless books concerning myriad fields, football being one of them. If you wish to know more about football, and what great coaching legends have done ahead of you, you should read a football book or two.
Above and beyond looking for a good football book to read, you also need to look for people you admire and are in the same career field and look at where they have stashed their knowledge. Since not everyone will go ahead to write a book, you can still pick up knowledge from your admirations by following them on social media platforms, watching their videos on Youtube, following their interviews on the various telecasts and podcasts, or even attending forums where they are scheduled to speak.
3. Accept criticism from other coaches
More often than not, when you receive a task, the first thing to do is to formulate a plan, then follow the steps of executing the plan. Coaches are no different, when they are managing a football team, their chief focus is to lead the team towards success. However, there arehordes oftechniques that different coaches will use, and some will bear fruits more than others. One of the clear-cut ways to keep track of your progress is to get feedback from other coaches. Since they have a different standing point, they are able to see matters much more objectively than you would.
Apart from listening to other coaches, you will also need to look within the team, and ask what the other members of the team think. Once you open your mind to new avenues, you can get inspiration from the least unlikely sources.
Additionally, when taking in criticism, you will need to develop a thick skin and learn to filter what is important, from what isn't. Being objective will also help you along the way.
4. Keep up with the trends
Every day, there are emerging trends that are coming up in the football area. If you desire to be a coach who will stand out above the rest, you will need to keep tabs on all the new trends and know how best you can utilize them to suit and benefit your team.
Apart from the trends, you should also try and find out if there are any additions or alterations to the aforementioned rules and regulations. A change in strategy or application of a new trend could be the deciding point for a game.
However, you should be keen to note and understand the different types of trends, and quickly realize which ones will work for your team, and which ones won't. You can check the supporting data to ensure the trend will be beneficial to you and your team. Alternatively, you can check if the trend has been used elsewhere, and what results it has shown.
5. Allow yourself to be taught and mentored
There are many great coaches who are ready and willing to teach their skills to new and upcoming coaches. You should ensure that there is someone for you to look up to, and have someone who will train you on the nuts and bolts of being a successful coach.
There are many things that you can learn from the internet, and from reading books. However, not every source of information is readily available on these platforms and avenues. That is why you should look for someone who knows the game very well, and someone who you would aspire to reach their standards, and even surpass them.
While mentoring is a great way for you to learn, you should also try and ensure that you have someone or people who you're training in the same field.
6. Be a versatile coach
Everyone has got an inclination as to which playing positions they prefer, and coaches are no different. Some coaches will tend to focus on the defensive side, others will prefer to lay strength on the midfield, and others still will focus on the attacking play. However, to be a cut across the rest, you will need to understand the various plays and know how to coach from every angle.
Moreover, as a coach, you should be able to quickly change a formation. For instance, you can begin by attacking, and when you have gotten the number of goals you prefer, then you can switch into defensive play.
7. Know all your players
A crucial part of being a successful coach is knowing all your players. When you know and understand each player, you will guide them into their strengths and know where you can improve on. When the players feel as if they have a special relationship with the coach, they will be freer to come up to him and open up to him on matters that affect the player both on and off the pitch.
Moreover, when you know your players, it will be easier for you to know which playing position would suit them best. And when in the field, it will be easier to communicate with players that you know well, and they will obey you more easily as they know and respect you.
Finally, it is important to realize that all relationships are two ways and even as you endeavor to know them, you should also allow yourself to be vulnerable, and be known by them.
8. Attend conferences, camps, and clinics
There are many conferences that are always happening around the football area. These conferences are often held by legendary trainers and are often attended by top-tier coaches and trainers. Attending a conference, clinic or camp, is one of the easiest ways that you can use to develop your skills and broaden your perspective on football coaching.
While most conferences are easy to get to, others may be out of your reach, thus, you should look for ways to fill up on the knowledge offered. One of the ways you can immerse yourself in the skills and lessons taught in these camps is by looking at what they have online. There are many courses that are offered online, and you can find a few theoretical lessons that will boost your career and help it improve.
9. Get certified
This is arguably one of the most important steps towards becoming a coach. You will need to visit the relevant certifying authority in your locality and get certified as a coach. Being certified will open up new pathways for you both locally and internationally. When you are a certified coach, you will have the proper documentation to show that you can indeed coach a team and that you will know what to do, and how to strategize.
Above just getting a coaching certificate, you should strive to get various certifications that will help you skyrocket your career and give you eligibility to coach the big teams in your region or even worldwide.
10. Grow your players
One of the things that most great coaches are identified by is their ability to create new talent and to direct untapped potential. Before you can forge forward on creating exceptional players, you will, as aforementioned, learn the players individually, know what drives them, what they want to achieve, and even what they are afraid of. When you know all these facts, you will then know how to coach each player towards advancing their skills.
It is important to note that when you create great players, they will be exposed to the world and all the attention will be on them. They might eventually end up leaving your team for another one, nonetheless, your player's success should be one of your top priorities.
When you create new players, you will not only be advancing them but also yourself. The world will recognize your name as that synonymous with successful players. subsequently, that will also help advance your career to a higher level.
Apart from these great tips, there are a few skills that will help you advance your career. These skills are some of the ones that have been observed in the world's great coaches over time. They include;
Passion - Over the years, one of the things that clearly stands out for coaches who have excelled is their passion. Passion is one of the key drivers that propels coaches to work harder and smarter, and to keep on with the team through thick times.
Perseverance - There will be times when your team does great, but there will also be times when your team will face hurdles and challenges. To be a successful coach, you will need to stick with your team and persevere with them, even as the team grows and tackles harder challenges and tougher teams.
Positivity - Being positive is a great way of excelling as a coach. As mentioned above, there are days when your team will face challenges. Everyone else may give up on your side, and even the players may get demoralized. However, as a coach, you need to remain positive and keep encouraging your players. When a coach is positive, the positivity will spill over to the players.
Leadership - A coach is the leader of his team, he is the one who the players -and fans, look up to. It is important for a great coach to have leadership skills to some extent. When a coach has great leadership skills, he will command the respect of his players and will be able to guide them on the right path.
Observation - As a coach, you will need to always have your eyes open and keep tabs on what the team. Some of the things you need to look out for include the team's performance, places to improve on, players that need special attention and so on. Additionally, you will also need to act on your observations in favor of the team's advancement.
Imagination - True, there are systems that have been proven to work better with teams. However, nothing is set on stone and a bit of imagination will prove helpful. You can create new plays and new techniques, try them out in friendly matches, then once you see how they work, you can decide whether to proceed with them or not.
The Important Take Away
There are a lot of little things that go into making a coach, the above tips and skills should go a long way in teaching you how you can excel in football coaching. Following these tips and acquiring these skills will help you in achieving your dreams of becoming a successful football coach.