GSM Coaching Football Leadership Series
"In today's game football leaders, coaches and administrator need to be able bring something to the table for others and not themselves. Some ideas about what football leaders need to do!"
Leaders Must Be Committed or Give It Up!
Commitment means more than the physical hard work and emotional energy it takes to do the work on and off the field. A significant level of mature commitment is also required. If you’re going to serve others through your passion for the game, you need to put in extra time to commit to your person developmental concerns for yourself and your team. Guess what? It’s a hard battle. You don’t give in and don’t give up. We’re to be lasting in our commitment to better ourselves to better our players.
There are characteristics that make up the commitment coaches need. They are very important if you are to be able to serve and move your passion forward. As you read some of the following, evaluate where you perceive yourself to be or where others would perceive you to be at this point in your coaching:
Give Yourself a Characteristic Overhaul
You Need to Love
You need to be honest and speak the truth in a caring manner and to do this it takes some love expressed correctly. Love is our greatest gift for others. Carrying and showing your love goes beyond the field. Love is sacrificing your self for another. It’s a gift you have that can develop and grow not only inside you but as you give it away is easier to accept than hating someone and expressing a negative effort when coaching.
Players Need to Be Mentored
Most players don’t have a lot of people in their lives that tell and show them that they appreciated and care for them, and who care enough about them to tell them about their development in the game and talk to them about their lives. Your job is to help improve their match play and to help grow their life walk. Coaches need not fear teaching players truth. Just do it in a loving and honest way. Your honest answer is a sign of your friendship with your players, and it helps build their trust in you.
The game of soccer is for the tough and sturdy coach and player. By the very nature of the game, we need not be afraid of conflicts that arise. Face them head on. Don’t gloss them over and create a false sense of peace. Players can sense inter-team problems quickly, so such problems need to be solved as soon as possible. Open discourse is a must. There must be no secrets that let negativism get in on the act. Keep it out and off your team.
As you teach, your team is to be connected by the very nature of the game; they can be connecting with your leadership at the same time you teach the game. A real coach with a real team depends on his honesty and frankness, and through his coaching he creates a commitment to be about what he stands for and what he’s about on and off the field. If you can influence your players to be honest, you’ve guaranteed they will be further committed to the team.
You Need to Be Humble
Have you ever experienced a coach who is stubborn, single-minded, the picture of self-importance, a know-it-all guy, rude, or an “It’s my way or the highway” kind of person? I had a high school coach who had no clue about working with players to improve them on the field or positively touch some aspect of their hearts. He had no interpersonal relationship skills. He did such a bad job that I think he probably indirectly drove me to make a better effort than he did. He had no idea how to coach or treat players. It was his way or the highway, and he was so stubborn that he was not appreciated. Not many players wanted to commit to him, but we were stuck with him. We played because we loved sports—not because we liked or loved him. My love for sports superseded my dislike of him, and it was the same for many players on our team. He would not make it in today’s school systems. He would be found out pretty soon and would lose his position. I don’t think he could spell the word Love and kindness would be really difficult. Sometimes, when there is nobody for the hiring, somebody has to fill in. They’re out there still, aren’t they? They are not humble, but are full of pride and have no clue.
You Don’t Need Pride
Pride blocks you from moving ahead with the development of your players’ soccer growth. Pride blocks movement toward what real purpose you’re to have in this game. With pride on your plate, you will struggle to integrate your passion for the game into the lives of your players. Prideful coaches may think they’re getting the job done, but their self absorbed blindness is killing their players. How about making some better choices, my friend?
When Humility Fails and Your Pride Rules
Here are a few ideas I suggest you use when your pride starts to appear and your humility is not functioning correctly. Try them. They can work for you if you use them:
Learn to Be More Patient
Be willing to wait for your players to respond. Let them try to sort out and solve problems in training sessions so they develop skills that carry over to matches. Don’t expect instant perfection—Rome wasn’t built in a ninety-minute match. Have some fun, then wait and see whether they can respond to your coaching. Don’t try to manipulate them with pressure; it doesn’t work effectively. All you have to do is figure out a new way to teach them to play better. After all, you’re the coach, and you need to be able to challenge them with different approaches. If you’re patient with your players, chances are they’ll get it and will be able to put a bigger effort into what you want from them. They’ll even appreciate you giving them some time to get where you wanted them to go. So try waiting for a while—it’s a kinder approach and more loving. Remember you have a responsibility to teach and guide your players correctly.
Be Ready to Receive Correction and Follow It
You’re not the only guy on the block. For years, my wife *Jamaican) has been my greatest advisor and friend—whether or not I like or want it. If only I had listened to her earlier in my coaching career! They say behind every man is a good partner. In my case, as I say from time to time, behind my dead brain cells is an unbelievable wife. In your case, it could be an older person who could mentor you. It could be your players; listen to what they think about you. Find a friend who will hold you accountable for getting it together. Remember that you’re not always right. Life’s a learning experience, and the answers are out there if you don’t know them all. Find them to do your job better.
Point the Spotlight Away From Yourself
Give honor and the credit for your accomplishments to other people who were part of it and who deserve some of the applause. Most likely it will be your players, who have to physically and mentally put up with what you give them and who kill themselves for you.
Be Careful What You Say In Public
Keep your public words to a minimum and keep what you’d sometimes like to say to players inside you. Don’t kill with your words, but rather show love through them. Make sure your words please rather than destroy.
Humbly Think and Do Things for Others, Not For Your Agenda
In essence, humility is the act of thinkingless about you. You think, do, and say more aboutyour players and other staff than you do about yourself.When you start focusing mentally and verbally on othersand their successes, you’re honoring your players and team. Focusing less onthe ‘me concept’ and more on the ‘others concept’ means you’reon target for becoming the humble character your to be. Through the practice of being more humble,you will cultivate your players to play better and you willhave a better chance of working with them to developtheir growth. Humble men are men to be trustedand believed. If you want your players to believe and trustyou, be a humble character.
Respect Your Players Regardless of Who They Are and How They Play
The key to gaining the respect ofyour team is to understand where your players are comingfrom and where you believe you can take them. We allcarry baggage that affects our daily living. Players are nodifferent. They carry baggage just like you, sometimespretty heavy stuff. We’ve all seen many types of baggage:divorced parents, the death of a family member, boyfriendor girlfriend problems, drugs, stealing, cheating, alcohol,bad grades, and a plethora of other issues. Don’t emphasizehow far your players have to go to change their baggage,but rather how far they have come with the baggage theycarry. Remember that if we had to clean up our baggagebefore we became mature, we never could have beenable to coach. You coach players, not baggage. As you accept your players and helpbring their lives and games together, you will be able helpget them out of the holes they’re in. If you respect yourlayers as players and resist disrespecting them becausehey carry loads that burden them, they will respect you for working with them, and that will build confidence within them to move their very characters, lives, and game forward.
Develop a confidentiality policy among your staff, your players, and yourself. If your players can come to you privately, you’ll be the guy they trust. It often takes time for this to happen. You have to prove that your mouth is a locked safe, and nothing is allowed out. Your heart becomes a private vessel that retains the problems, hurts, secrets, and expectations of your players. Until they allow you to share, you are just a sponge soaking up your players’ confidence in you. You need commitment beyond the match. By committing to your team members and bringing them alongside you, you’ll be serving them with your passion.
You must make a consolidated effort to help them in their game and grow your team and every player is your responsibility and must be your heart’s desire.
“This integrity thing is something to get serious about and start making those choices that will not only win games but the hearts of your players for the rest of their lives. If you think this is not your responsibility you’re in the wrong game”