In order for any team to reach their true potential, it is clear that all parties must be working in conjunction, which includes players buying into the philosophies and methods of the coach or manager in charge. However, this is not always easy for coaches to achieve, whether it be due to a demotivated squad, disruptive players or lack of leadership. So, for those struggling to make an impact in this area, be sure to try and implement the following tips, with all working together to build rapport amongst players.
The culture of a football club often defines it success, whether it be based on hard work or particular style of play, however this cannot be built overnight. As a result, coaches must have the patience and consistency in order to achieve their goals in this area. Come up with a set of core philosophies in which you wish to instil in your players, sticking to such guidelines throughout the season, even when times are rough. Of course, it is important to ensure that such philosophies are broad enough to have a number of strategies when on the field, catering for all opponents and players.
In saying all this, it is important to quickly make decisions as to which player fit into your culture, with allowing individuals to go against this being very risky, now matter how talented they are on the field. For example, Paul Pogba was recently frozen out at Manchester United under the reign of former boss Jose Mourinho, with the two having lost trust in each other’s ability.
Admit Your Mistakes
It is important to be accountable in both success and failure when coaching teams of all ages and ability, even when you do not necessarily agree with this sentiment. Blaming one individual or a particular group of players for a defeat or poor performance is unlikely to have a positive impact on future results. Winning and losing is a group effort, which must be reinstated into the mind set of players at all times. There is, of course, times when constructive criticism is needed or an arm around the shoulder of a struggling player is the best course of action, however, be sure not to throw players under the bus in front of their teammates.
It works in the same way for handing out praise, with coaches reminded to avoid complimenting individuals too much, instead focusing upon the team. Doing so will both motivate players and ensure that they remain confident, with a good amount of time required in order to achieve this. Taking accountability will also demonstrate to your players that are not afraid to admit your mistakes, something which is invaluable throughout the team.
Deliver Information Concisely
Players must be able to clearly understand the messages of coaches, otherwise it is easy to become disoriented and demotivated. This is something that many coaches often overlook, with clear and concise communication required at all times. Ensure that players understand their responsibilities both on and off the field, whether you achieve this during team discussions or one-on-one talks. So, whether it whilst delivering a training exercise or a pre-match instruction, be sure to explain exactly what is expected of players, which includes them seeing the merit in carrying out such actions.
Show Players Respect
As well as teaching those within the squad about your philosophies, coaches should not be afraid to ask players for their opinions, which will make them feel both rewarded and respected. Players are likely to feel like they are valued members of the team, as well as helping to establish their role both on and off the field. Listening and adapting are both key attributes for coaches too, whether it be asking their opinion at half time or moving to Plan B following a disappointing opening 45 minutes.