It can sometimes be difficult being a Coach. As much as we love the game ... paperwork, team selection, organising games, results, attending meetings, courses and sometimes parents and supporters, can all take some of the pleasure away and crank-up the pressure.
Gary Horton, Club Director of Football, recently attended an FA course on this very subject and has put together some brief notes to offer us all some help.
Planning: Adopt the ‘Plan > Do > Review > Repeat’ approach. This can apply to training and matches. Car time is good for planning and reviewing. The idea is you don't just turn up and make things up on the spot. Afterwards, you can assess what worked and what didn't.
Communication: Create a Facebook or Whats App group to quickly send and receive communications. Makes organisation easier, particularly match arrangements and players needing a lift. Most of our teams do this.
New Managers: Have a club welcome document. Well we already have this and you can find it on our website.
Mentors: You can contact West Riding County FA for FA mentors in the area who can support you in many ways, including held with a training session. It’s also perfectly feasible to have mentors or ‘buddies’ within the same club.
Philosophy: Have a football philosophy. If you club doesn’t have one, create one for your team. Make sure players and parents know what it is. Develop your approach when ‘in-possession’ and when ‘out-of-possession’. As a club, we do have a football philosophy which you can also find on this site. That said, have you adopted it and shared your thoughts with players and parents.
Training Tips: Start your session with a game and end with a game with drills in between. Most players just want to play a game of football, so why not start with one as a quick way of getting players warmed up and engaged. You can always limit touches, one touch football and so on.
Set-Up Equipment: You can save some time by getting your players to fetch cones and put them out under your direction. Likewise, with bibs. Again, it keeps players engaged and saves you some effort and time.
Set-Up Drills: Think about setting up a zoned area that can be used for a simple warm up and then expanded into a drill followed by small sided games. Example: Two small pitches set up alongside each other. Two groups play tag on each pitch as warm up. Bring both groups together to do a ball drill using both pitches. Finally, progress into two small sided games. Progressing like this saves time between each routine. Also try to avoid too many drills that involve players waiting in queues when they can lose interest and be disruptive.
Match Day: Get a willing band of parents to readily help out with setting up goal posts and also laying out Respect barriers, cones and corner flags.
Further Training Ideas: Check out the FA Learning Hive
Hopefully, these few suggestions might help you think about how you approach training and matches and more importantly, take a little pressure off so you can enjoy the game even more.