10 Coach Skills

How to improve your coaching skills?

Do you want to be a better football coach than you currently are? Would you like to know what  football coaches do very well? What skills have they developed and use perfectly every day to do their jobs better?

A good coach should be: a leader, organized, planner, communicator, dynamic, timely, flexible, adaptive and caring among other things.

In another article we explain the profile of a good football coach and the knowledge he should have. I recommend you read them.

Below we will explain the skills of a good coach and how to develop them.


Skills. What skills must a football coach learn to be a successful coach?

1. Flexible, adapt to circumstances. Many times you will have to prepare a perfect training session and for many reasons you won't be able to put it into practice: fewer players than expected, missing the right goalkeeper, they have reduced your workspace, etc ... At the moment, the good coach must have the ability to vary and adapt to what you have, getting predefined objectives in your planning. For this you have to have the ability to adapt. Let me give you a tip: always have with you two types of prepared sessions: the one you are planning to develop and for which you have everything you expect and another one with less resources (space, players) and easier to develop. Both must be good to work what you programmed. Remember that on paper, all the exercises, activities and games work perfectly, but on the training pitch difficulties may arise. Be prepared for changes in these activities: either by modifying the rules, spaces, number of players, etc ...

2. Organized. Coaching is a complex process in which you have to select and sequence the content we want to develop to achieve the objectives. Every coach should be organized in order to make this process. You must also be organized when executing the session, setting up the exercises, activities, placing cones, marks, training jerseys, balls, etc ... Just as in the management of the group between activities, breaks, etc ...

3. Schedule. With training we want to improve something that we have detected is susceptible of improvement. Based on an initial assessment, we must set defined objectives to achieve. We must seek to develop the content and decide when we're going to work each activity . In short, the coach delineates a plan to bring the skills of his players from a starting point A to a "final" point E, via intermediate points B, C, and D, through his action or coaching.

4. Neat, careful. Not only do I mean with  grooming, which is also important, here I talk about football boots themselves (no mud, clean, etc ...) the training jerseys (players always appreciate the jerseys they're given being clean and smelling with softener, unblemished and in good condition), equipment in good condition (clean cones, balls with enough air, etc ...), and training gear for your club or organization. If your club does not have a kit for coaches, please use sportswear without advertising stuff , alcohol, etc ..

5. On time. It's good to arrive with spare time to the training field to  mentally locate the training activities, placing cones, check the status of equipment (fill balls with air if necessary), greet players and parents and other coaches , review the prepared training session, etc ...

6. Leadership. The football coach must lead a group of people. When these are children it's easier because they just want to play and are like "sponges" that will absorb and "repeat" everything. When they're teenagers, well you know how teenagers are, you have to know how to handle them and here is where leadership skills are needed such as: empathy, assertiveness, "left hand", negotiation, reward, etc ...

7. Communicator. Both in training sessions and in matches (more on the half time break that during the game) the coach should talk to the team and explain something. Verbal communication should be short, clear and concise. And of course, it must be supported with non-verbal communication (body position, gestures, face, eyes, etc ...)

8. Facilitator. Players must perform the exercises and activities that you have prepared for achieving the fixed objectives. You have to "encourage" players to "move" and execute them. The faster they get to work the faster they will begin to understand the dynamics of activities before the contents are assimilated and also begin they'll begin the process of learning and improvement faster. In my work methodology I am very dynamic, I like players to start moving as fast as possible. Once they are working, as issues arise, we can guide them towards finding answers and solutions.

9. Analyzer. You should recognize and interpret as soon as possible what is going on both in games and during training. Know what is happening allows us to compare with expectations and make better decisions to improve it.

10. Respectful. Obviously a coach should respect people who interact with him: players, assistants, parents, agents, managers, press and during the competition: players and opposing coaches, referees, etc ... But at this point I would like to do more emphasis on respect to the assimilative capacity of the player, and his levels: skills, tactical intelligence, fitness, etc ... Since there are players who recognize and understand tactical concepts and movements faster, or by genetics, background, have better physical abilities, etc ... The good coach should be aware of this and encourage, support his players.

We've already seen the skills that a football coach should have and how he should use them to become better: flexible and adaptive, organized, planner, clean, caring, on time, leadership, communicator, dynamic analyzer.

Let me give you a personal/professional: record yourself in the training sessions and in games (talks before, during breaks and at the end) this can give us a lot of feedback on our skills and how we put them into practice, as well as mistakes we make.

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