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Over the weekend a little boy came up to me and asked me “does a coach just blow his whistle”? This got me thinking, “does a coach just blow his whistle”? After the session I took some time to think about the little boy’s comment as well as the First Touch coaches, how we do our coaching and what our job as a coach is all about.

A good coach must be enthusiastic, positive, supportive, trusting, goal-oriented, focused, knowledgeable, respectful, observant, patient, and a clear communicator.  Our coaches understand the sport and leads by example to be able to teach effectively, they have in-depth understanding of the sport from the fundamental skills to advanced strategy and tactics.  Coaches needs to plan for the sessions, know the rules and provide a structured environment for our young football players.  Our coaches have a recognised qualification from the governing body for football. 

Even though our coaches know a great deal about football, they must continue to learn and develop new training techniques.  We need to stay up-to-date and informed of new research and training which supports the coaching process, we seek out tips from other coaches and players.

Obtaining and sharing knowledge is important but having the confidence to share and seek others’ view is our key quality.  By trying different ideas and new things is to improve our performance.  Our coaches are motivators with a positive attitude and enthusiasm for football and this is part of the formula for our success.  By being able to motivate and keeping the practice fun, challenging and fresh, players generate the desire to excel in their football.

It is important for a coach to make sure that the players understand that they can completely control their own efforts and training, but they cannot control what their opponent does or the outcome of every match.  We always bear in mind that fun and enjoyment are the cornerstones to successful coaching.

A coach needs to pay attention to the players strengths, weaknesses, and emotions, understanding that every player is different, and they have different ways of receiving coaching information especially in a team game.  Clear communication by setting defined goals, direct feedback and reinforcing the key messages. Coaches are a bit like teachers, language is a key part of coaching and keeping things simple and easy to understand is part of being a good coach.  We need to have a compassionate ear and ever player should be able to give their comments, input, and questions.

Trust between the coach and players are of paramount importance and essential for successful coaching.  Coaches are in the profession because they love it, beside being strongly committed to the sports and success, we are committed to look out for the best interest of the players.  In many ways coaching is a 24/7 365-days-a-year job as we live and sleep the art of coaching.  So, my answer to the little boy asking, “does a coach just blow his whistle?” is no we do much more.

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