Coaching

What is coaching?

There are many definitions to coaching, but simply said:
“Coaching is to influence the game and the players in it”

How to coach

Coaching is a cycle where you:

  • Explain
    ensure all players can hear you clearly
  • Demonstrate
    ensure that all players can see all important aspects of the demonstration
  • Observe
    position yourself where you can see clearly. Always outside the grid/field.
  • Analyse & make decisions
    decide which detail is most important to correct first, in order to achieve the objective of the training.
  • Generate and give feedback
    engage players in discussions around the detail that need to be corrected. Show possible solutions.

Learning styles

Each individual is learning in her own way, and as a coach you need to ensure you are addressing all learning styles:

  • Visual A visual learner is learning by looking
  • Auditory An auditory learner is learning by listening
  • Kinaesthetic A kinaesthetic learner is learning by touch and movement
  • Reading & writing A reading and writing learner is learning by reading and taking notes.

Make sure you are reducing the time you are talking to the players in practice. Demonstrate, give the keys/coaching points and let them get the chance to many repetitions.

Learning zones

Ensure learning by:

  • Recognizing the players individual learning style and football ability.
  • Keeping the practice challenging and fun.
  • Adjust the difficulty from the players’ individual ability.
  • Introduce new challenges to keep the focus and interest. If it is too easy as it becomes boring.

Coaching during games

You are putting the foundation to a good performance in the game, by the practices run during the week.

When you are coaching during the game it is very important to recognize that you should always allow the ball holder to make her own decisions, as she will only be confused if you shout to her from the sideline.

The players you can give instructions are the players that are off the ball. Such instructions in attack could be:

  • Open up
  • Fall down
  • Give support
  • Show feet
  • Create balance

And in defense

  • Defend on goal side
  • Shift
  • Delay
  • Squeeze

If a player is making a mistake or is taking a wrong decision, you can guide her for the next time, but make sure it is in a positive and supportive tone.

  • Next time; be brave to take the shot yourself
  • Next time; recognize the space inside
  • Next time; challenge the player

If instead you are shouting negative comments to the player, she will most likely fail even next time as she then will lose confidence even more.

Games as part of development

See each game as a possibility to develop the players and the team. Preferably set performance goals related to the objectives of last week’s practice. Winning games by having superior kicking and running abilities will never develop a player’s football-playing ability.

Video from the English FA on the importance of using small fields for young players.

Tactics

There are three different levels of tactical understanding;

  • Individual tactic
    The individual players decision.
  • Group tactic
    The cooperation/action of a group of players.
  • Team tactic
    The tactical disposition and strategies of the team.

As a coach you need to mainly focus on the individual tactic, before addressing group tactics and lastly team tactics.  The players first need to understand the basic principles of attack and defense:

Selecting the team

When you select the team for the game, consider:

  • The players attitude, commitment and availability in practice.
  • The balance of the team. If you play with a wing midfielder that is out and out an attacking minded player, you need to balance her with a backline player that is good in one vs one in defence. If you on the other hand are playing a very attacking minded fullback, you need to balance her with a wing midfielder that is having decent defensive qualities.

Altering the tension level

One of the most important tasks for the coach during the games is to alter the tension level of both the team and individuals.

Old player that is not performing “Pull up your socks – the team needs you!”
Young player that is not performing “Relax and play. Keep it simple.”
Strong team, playing against a weak team “Focus on keeping a high ball tempo and ensure we have good movement off the ball. We know the league might be decided by goal difference, so let’s make sure we are going for goals.”
Weak team, playing against strong team “Work as a team through out the game. Help each others, and make sure to give support in defence. They are having all the pressure on them, as they are expected to win. We will just go in and enjoy playing a good game of football.”
Team performing poor in first half Put main focus on the details that were good, but also give clear instructions on the main details to change. Keep it simple and encouraging.
Team performing very well in first half Put main focus on what can be improved. Give positive feedback, but more importantly challenge the players ahead of second half.
Team leading by 2-0 in half time “Let’s keep the focus up. We need to improve (on whatever details that were not perfect in the first half).”
Team being down 2-0 in half time “Let’s keep on pushing – if we score one goal the opponents will be stressed. We were doing many good things in first half (focus on the details that were good), and with the right attitude we can turn this game around!”

What is coaching

There are many definitions to coaching, but simply said:
“Coaching is to influence the game and the players in it”

How to coach

Coaching is a cycle where you:

  • Explain
    ensure all players can hear you clearly
  • Demonstrate
    ensure that all players can see all important aspects of the demonstration
  • Observe
    position yourself where you can see clearly. Always outside the grid/field.
  • Analyse & make decisions
    decide which detail is most important to correct first, in order to achieve the objective of the training.
  • Generate and give feedback
    engage players in discussions around the detail that need to be corrected. Show possible solutions.

Learning styles

Each individual is learning in her own way, and as a coach you need to ensure you are addressing all learning styles:

  • Visual A visual learner is learning by looking
  • Auditory An auditory learner is learning by listening
  • Kinaesthetic A kinaesthetic learner is learning by touch and movement
  • Reading & writing A reading and writing learner is learning by reading and taking notes.

Make sure you are reducing the time you are talking to the players in practice. Demonstrate, give the keys/coaching points and let them get the chance to many repetitions.

Learning zones

Ensure learning by:

  • Recognizing the players individual learning style and football ability.
  • Keeping the practice challenging and fun.
  • Adjust the difficulty from the players’ individual ability.
  • Introduce new challenges to keep the focus and interest. If it is too easy as it becomes boring.

Coaching during games

You are putting the foundation to a good performance in the game, by the practices run during the week.

When you are coaching during the game it is very important to recognize that you should always allow the ball holder to make her own decisions, as she will only be confused if you shout to her from the sideline.

The players you can give instructions are the players that are off the ball. Such instructions in attack could be:

  • Open up
  • Fall down
  • Give support
  • Show feet
  • Create balance

And in defense

  • Defend on goal side
  • Shift
  • Delay
  • Squeeze

If a player is making a mistake or is taking a wrong decision, you can guide her for the next time, but make sure it is in a positive and supportive tone.

  • Next time; be brave to take the shot yourself
  • Next time; recognize the space inside
  • Next time; challenge the player

If instead you are shouting negative comments to the player, she will most likely fail even next time as she then will lose confidence even more.

Games as part of development

See each game as a possibility to develop the players and the team. Preferably set performance goals related to the objectives of last week’s practice. Winning games by having superior kicking and running abilities will never develop a player’s football-playing ability.

Video from the English FA on the importance of using small fields for young players.

Tactics

There are three different levels of tactical understanding;

  • Individual tactic
    The individual players decision.
  • Group tactic
    The cooperation/action of a group of players.
  • Team tactic
    The tactical disposition and strategies of the team.

As a coach you need to mainly focus on the individual tactic, before addressing group tactics and lastly team tactics.  The players first need to understand the basic principles of attack and defense:

Selecting the team

When you select the team for the game, consider:

  • The players attitude, commitment and availability in practice.
  • The balance of the team. If you play with a wing midfielder that is out and out an attacking minded player, you need to balance her with a backline player that is good in one vs one in defence. If you on the other hand are playing a very attacking minded fullback, you need to balance her with a wing midfielder that is having decent defensive qualities.

Altering the tension level

One of the most important tasks for the coach during the games is to alter the tension level of both the team and individuals.

Old player that is not performing “Pull up your socks – the team needs you!”
Young player that is not performing “Relax and play. Keep it simple.”
Strong team, playing against a weak team “Focus on keeping a high ball tempo and ensure we have good movement off the ball. We know the league might be decided by goal difference, so let’s make sure we are going for goals.”
Weak team, playing against strong team “Work as a team through out the game. Help each others, and make sure to give support in defence. They are having all the pressure on them, as they are expected to win. We will just go in and enjoy playing a good game of football.”
Team performing poor in first half Put main focus on the details that were good, but also give clear instructions on the main details to change. Keep it simple and encouraging.
Team performing very well in first half Put main focus on what can be improved. Give positive feedback, but more importantly challenge the players ahead of second half.
Team leading by 2-0 in half time “Let’s keep the focus up. We need to improve (on whatever details that were not perfect in the first half).”
Team being down 2-0 in half time “Let’s keep on pushing – if we score one goal the opponents will be stressed. We were doing many good things in first half (focus on the details that were good), and with the right attitude we can turn this game around!”