Getting the Best out of your players
Allowing this data to be presented in a generic form which the team can have access to for review or discussion as a team or individuals. This allows the use of technology as a positive safeguard to allow a transparent two-way information flow for both coaches and athletes. This builds accountability and trust, it builds confidence and develops the athlete in gaining knowledge of team and self-expectation. The coaching staff will also develop through this process in the same areas as the athlete but with a stronger communication emphasis.
The Athlete: Trusting the process set for you, trusting the intention of the process and recognising the positive result of applying yourself to the process.
The Coach: Exercising your knowledge and experience to contribute to the development process, using the data and technology with scheduling to create and maintain a consistent and challenging environment, identifying and rectifying elements of concern before they become negatives and demonstrating through calculated changes to volumes and intensities that positive physical and mental adaptation is occurring throughout the team.
Examples of structure and baseline measurement would be: Periodisation at macro and micro level, beep test, yo yo test, wingates, VO2s, skinfolds, dexas, strength test, baseline skills acquisition test.
The team now know where they are, why they are doing things and where they are going. I believe this allows you to get the player to get the best out of themselves.
The second part of this is the facilitation. Good coaches around you with the skills you have identified to create and nurture a growth and development environment and amplify your fundamentals to your culture.
Senior Player is openly critical of your methods or decisions during a coaching practice
This issue can arise for a number of reasons, it may be a genuine belief that the athlete has seen this method fail, it could be an issue of personality between coach and player or it may simply be a case of a tired grumpy senior player who is over the practice! This issue is most effectively dealt with before the practice starts.
Presence, confidence and above all competence are the hallmarks of effective coaches. Being a consistent person with strong and acknowledged behavioural or personality traits will allow your athletes to know you and in effect have an accurate expectation of your response.
My first reaction is to find if there is a consensus amongst the players. Does any other player agree with the challenge? Yes, means listen and then alter or reiterate instructions with strong emphasis upon practice outcome. No, means time to think. Consider your athlete and why they are there, especially if the athlete is a senior athlete. Your athlete is a competitor, it is their innate behaviour to challenge and compete to win, so arguing is not an option. Keep the dynamic of practice alive, engage the athlete as to what the problem is and then ask for their solution. Be mindful to be sincere and listen to the response however keep the players moving while your engaging. Two things happen. It’s a positive engagement and at the same time the players are active too show the senior player that the session is still moving, you are in control. I have reminded on many occasions to my senior players that they are a positive anomaly in this squad and that I will train and drill to the bar for constant raising, in other words, you may have had enough but those less experienced and less exposed need to have more practice to compete with you at this level. Allow the player to speak and then offer the opportunity for them to have input at the end of this session with a review and preview of the next. Use your senior players and allow them to contribute but emphasis planning and structure and encourage them to be available to review for future input.
Establishing good relationships with your board members
Presenting yourself as a leader of your team and a coach who can bring your dynamic skills into a boardroom are strong indicators of competence. The relationship of strong industry, business and corporate teams with sport and high performance has always been one founded on competitive traits in team members. A coach who understands the corporate side of his team’s business and contributes himself or allows his team to be accessed for the growth of the club will find strong support from his board. Football budgets are excessive now a days and getting more so with the leaps in technology and the demand for the sporting edge. Knowing your budget constraints will mean preparation for any request for funding for your team. Using the examples of the benefits already gained from a generous board will endure favour, switching from sport coach to statistical tactician and presenting from an informative and empirical base will speak the numbers language and indicate to the board that you are aware of the process undertaken to release funds and that you respect it.
Persuading your players to have buy in to a new direction/culture
Map it out clearly, use positives from the old regime as examples of progression and evolution, these could be actions or game statistics which indicate or show areas which can be trimmed away for efficiency or amplified for positive growth. Strategies and behavioural changes delivered by qualified and experienced people on change techniques are essential, coaches will attend also. It is imperative that the coaches buy in first and are unreservedly committed to the new process. As the head of the train they will encourage and lead by example on a daily basis, their behaviours, words and actions will lay the platform for the physical animation of the change process. Reinforcement of the positive, engaging on any questions or challenges in a positive and informative manner. The environment for change has to be energetic, meaning a willingness to promote and transition from old to new through actions, key words, new and varied coaching strategies and if required behaviour changes. Consistency, structure and transparency and if need be reinforcement of the direction.
The staff and program set for you
Self-application and compliance to integrate yourself without compromise into the program
Recognising any self-failing to apply trust and integrity and accepting consequence