Updated: Feb 6
This is a question I have often asked myself and even more often been asked by, friends and parents. In the formative years and if the player has ambitions this is a question of critical importance as it can quite literally be life defining.
Over the next few short posts(I’m aiming at 500 words or less per post) I’m going to answer this question as best as I can, trying to offer examples of what good coaching looks like. My experience tells me that most of this is true for any sport and at any level. I’ll start today by offering a model on what makes up a coach.
The Four Skill Groups of a Coach
“Motivational” coaches really on positive energy, imagery, salesmanship and usually a big, bold personality to coach. The “Rah-Rah” coach always looking on the bright side. Great at team talks and often spends time at or after training telling the players how good the session is. Interestingly I think all coaches start here as their knowledge base is
“Tactical” coaches live and breathe for match day. Their focus is often on using what they can to get the result. Roles, formations and style of play is where most of his talk is directed at the players.
“Methodological” or “Method Men” are the guys obsessed with the granular detail of a training session. The right exercise, for the right moment and the right player! They know the modern trends and have a huge knowledge base.
“Managerial” are the train drivers, keeping it moving forward on the tracks. They thrive in organisation and look to create order of what can be a chaotic game.
knowledge and experience might let him down. You will see him, run organised sessions that are probably to generic and elementary for his players or be presentable and on time but not know how to manage the match environment to get the best out of his players.
In contrast Pep Guardiola is almost certainly in the high 90’s for all four quadrants, where he might not take training sessions, even though he puts on some of the best, and manages a team of coaches instead. He needs a skilled overview of all four elements to ensure maximum performance in his environment.
The environment is where I’d like to close this one down. Each coach coaches in his own unique environment, that is affected by age, gender, culture to name a few. In my next post I will go into what we cannot compromise on at each stage....