The work of coaches hasn’t been just a hobby for ages
Coaches need education and experience
We firmly believe that the work of a coach is no longer seen as just a hobby or a side job. Many coaches are getting their licenses and in the training process, they often come across sports psychology topics, but usually very marginally. However, for us, this is the key area.
We see the coach and the whole support team as the vehicle for bringing mental preparation to the team. But what does that actually mean? Coaches should know their players not only through their skills on the field. They should know their personality, how they react, what they need to perform well and realize when something is wrong with a player. The support team should be very good at working with team dynamics and using it for the team’s benefit.
At Headformers, we do our best to explain basic concepts when working with coaches and support teams. We go through the age specifics of the team they are working with. Alternatively, if it’s a male/female team, we guide them to understand the basic principles of how their team works. However, predominantly we cover team dynamics.
What exactly is team dynamics? It encompasses almost all the processes that take place in a team. It is the communication between players, the sharing of information between the support team and the players, mutual feedback – among players or with the support team, open expression of opinions or the ability to accept each other. It often seems very simple, everything seems to be going well, players are talking and coaches are clearly communicating instructions. But what if it’s all just a show?
Sometimes you just need to change a tiny detail and all the processes in the team will simplify and fall into place. We recommend coaches to communicate openly with their team, to study the players as best they can – either with our help or on their own. When coaches know the values of the team and the values of the individual players, they are very good at providing meaningful instructions. Some players need a pat, some need a scolding, and some just need clear instruction on what to do at a given moment. Remembering everything that applies to everyone at all times, sometimes in the rush of emotion from a game, is very difficult for a coach. That’s why it’s good to match the overall performance to what suits the team and if there are exceptions that need something different, you need to be mindful of it.
The work of coaches is sometimes harder than the public can imagine. Most of the time they are under a lot of pressure, they have the responsibility for the whole team, the selection of players or tactics. They are always the ones who have to answer tough questions just after the game and find the strength to control themselves and communicate “correctly”. This is why we should not forget that coaches are only human too. As Headformers we not only educate and develop coaches, but we also work on their personal development, how to handle pressure, how to evaluate matches and how to communicate even the uncomfortable stuff.