Get to know your coaching 'why'
You've got your coaching license. Now what? Understanding the why, what and who behind your coaching can help you to be better.
QUESTION: As a coach, ask the who, what and why questions of yourself
Any coaching qualification is a great achievement, all things learnt on the coaching journey are important. Fundamentals outlined, training drills relayed, and useful tips suggested. Take the FA's 4 corner model, for example, showing physical, technical, psychological and social aspects to develop both the person and the player.
These set structures in the current curriculum are useful. But as we work with coaches at all levels of the game, top-level coaching requires something other than just the textbook.
It's not just about understanding the player's strengths and weaknesses; it's also about understanding your own, as a coach.
Whatever level you coach at, and whatever age, there are some essential questions that will always need answering when planning your training sessions.
Why do you coach?
Have you ever asked yourself why you actually became a coach? It seems a surprisingly simple question to ask, but many of us haven't answered it.
Being able to understand why you coach, ultimately underpins everything you do. Do you want to inspire others? Are you focused on player development? Whatever the answer is, ensure to keep asking yourself the question, as your answers will become more refined.
This will provide motivation to reinforce your sessions. The ultimate outcome: the players will enjoy it more too.
What do you hope to achieve?
Do you know what you're aiming for? Is it team success, or individual player progression? The difference between an efficient coach and an effective coach is that they always know WHY they're doing a specific session or drill.
A session built towards taking and defending free-kicks can mean your team understanding the logistics, but do they know why? It could be something that didn't work so well in the last match, or perhaps the next team you play have a dead ball specialist. A simple explanation to the reason behind the exercise should hopefully resonate in players minds much more during a game.
Clear instructions on what you want to achieve reduce confusion and enhance execution, delivering the outcomes you had planned for your session. There is a clear purpose.
THE AIM IS?: Klopp set targets as soon as he arrived at Liverpool and got the personnel in to deliver them.
Who are you as a coach?
Thank goodness, there are many different types of coaches. Objectives change dependent on level, environment and personnel. Knowing where you want to start and end up will make your roles more enjoyable, for all.
Are you tactically, technically or motivationally focused? For example, the type of person to coach children needs to be enthusiastic and patient, enjoy being around young people, and comfortable dealing with the lower level. Some technical coaches will like the progression of development, while others crave perfect lines and crisp passing. The motivational coach aspires to inspire, working with personalities and smiling faces.
If you're brilliant at one of these, fantastic. Being good at them all, even better. Whichever type of coach you aim to be, go with it, but be open to learning.
KNOW YOURSELF: Mourinho's character requires a certain type of player & environment for true success.
The journey is everything
Acknowledgement of all factors provides reference points for everything you intend to do. The more you do, the more you'll know, and the more you'll find your coaching self. As you progress through your coaching journey, the textbook coaching manuals and courses will be diluted versions of your toolkit.
No coach is perfect from the beginning. No coach is perfect in the end. Being able to develop in your coaching comes with experience: learning from your encounters, your doings, and those around you: good and bad.
This journey allows for agile thinking and adaptation, all underpinned by your 'because'.