5 tips to improve your coaching during the game!

Who doesn't know it from themselves or has experienced it several times in games? In the heat of the moment, we coaches shout sentences like “Boys, play football!”, “More exercise” or “Play faster”. Of course we know what that means. The players probably know what they should do better, but is that really effective?

What exactly do you mean by “Boys, play football!”? The problem that we recognize is that we as trainers have taken over these commands from our trainers or other trainer colleagues without thinking about it. Somehow it is logical anyway what is meant by that. The game is no longer nice right now, the players are knocking the ball away too quickly, the passing game is imprecise, controlling the ball takes too long and the players should support each other again and coach each other positively. Is it clear what this means, isn't it?

These things are going on in the coach's mind, he summarizes his thoughts and wants to use this command to get the game back on track. The recipients of the command are his players. Each of these players receives this message individually, processes it with their thoughts (decodes) and gives feedback, here in the form of changed gaming behavior. But if this playing behavior was not what the coach wanted, he sends another message and the cycle starts again!

Commands like the one mentioned above are not part of coaching, they are phrases because they are imprecise and not very meaningful, which is why this cycle will repeat itself more often.

TIP 1: Eliminate phrases and prepare the keywords with your team!

Coaching, on the other hand, is much more precise and meaningful because the players understand the message. Write down your coaching keywords on a piece of paper and define them precisely. The next task will be to define this together with your team. Also address your team and ask them what they understand by this. They may have previously understood it completely differently. Last but not least, integrate these jointly defined coaching points into your training!

TIP 2: Coach less, but more consciously

If we coach too much, we overload our players. With constant coaching, the players' creativity also suffers because they no longer make their own decisions, but are only executing orders. The word is of course slightly exaggerated, but we should still pay attention to the frequency of coaching. It's better to have less, precise and understandable information than to be permanent and overloading. Focus on the key coaching points you want to bring into the game and pay attention to player feedback. Changes in gaming behavior sometimes only occur after a few minutes. Be aware of that.

TIP 3: Ask for feedback from your fellow trainers

If you're interested in improving, there's no shame in asking for feedback on your coaching from your fellow coaches, even if it might be uncomfortable. Of course you need honest feedback. The opinions of your coaching colleagues are extremely important because they can give you feedback that you rarely get from your players. Was it expressed precisely and clearly? Did the players understand and implement it? Was it too much or too little coaching? What were the gestures and facial expressions like? With these questions you will receive immediate feedback and can draw initial conclusions.

TIP 4: Have it filmed

Have you ever thought about having (just) the game filmed, but also yourself? Have yourself filmed during the dressing room address and also during the game. Why? Not only what you say is important, but also your gestures and facial expressions. Crossing your arms during a motivational speech is not very effective, but do we really notice it while we speak? Even during the game, the players keep looking at you when you call in coaching points. By recording you can see for yourself whether the hand movements matched what you asked for and whether they seemed understandable. This TIP 4 is one of the most important for me because it gives you unfiltered feedback!

TIP 5: Constantly improve yourself and still be yourself

If you have read this far, then it shows me that you are willing to develop further as a trainer. This is also the secret to being successful in the long term. Absorb new knowledge, extract the best for yourself and apply it. But the most important thing is that you don't pretend and remain authentic, so apply it in your own way.

If you liked the post, let us know. Feel free to write a message for further coaching tips.

And please share this post if you think other trainers should think about it too!

Author: Tammo Neubauer

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