The role of the coach is essentially to pull all the players together to create a harmonious, strong and efficient team who are happy in their work.
Choosing the right blend within your coaching team is important as it is the unity amongst the coaching team that breeds stability and confidence among the players and emits a positive vibe in general.
Your assistants should follow the same philosophy as you. They also have to be trustworthy and give valid feedback, which is especially important during a bad run of results. A strong bond with your coaching team is a great advantage to a coach as it provides support and help when facing tough decisions. It also takes the pressure off your shoulders to know that your choices are 100% supported by your team.
As the decision maker and the person responsible for the way your team plays, it is essential that you are confident and sure in all your actions as players can pick up any signs of insecurity.
It is important that you have the backing of your coaching team on everything when in front of your players as they have to feel that they are in capable hands and are being lead properly.
Players are generally insecure by nature and can look for excuses to deflect responsibility from themselves. If they can blame the coach for their performance then they often will.
This requires the coach to find a special blend of strength and openness in order to be stern and in control whilst remaining approachable and caring.
The coach has to work out his players’ personalities and know which ones will look for excuses and which ones need a degree of attention and care to raise their confidence and performance levels. This is a tricky balance to find and a challenge for any coach to master.
The following points are a good guide for a coach to adopt:
- Have a strong, trustworthy coaching team.
- Make sure you are fully backed up by your coaching team when in the dressing room and in front of the players.
- Be confident and in control when giving any information to your team.
- Always be adaptable and flexible and be fair to the players. This way you will gain full respect from your players.
- Do not pretend to know everything. Stick to your philosophy and be confident in that.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your players’ questions as this will keep their attention and make them feel that they are being heard.
- Above all, respect your players. Do not let personal favourites or personality clashes cloud your judgment. Players respect fairness so base your decisions on players' performances and attitude. This way a player should have no problems if they are dropped as they know that your decisions are fair and based on form.