Hints & Tips

Back to Coaches

This is the section where you should be adding your own as and when you figure them out. But here they are:

First Rule of Coaching/Life: If it isn’t fun, you’re not doing it right.

Second Rule of Coaching: Don’t underestimate people’s ability to take what you thought were clear instructions and do something completely different. Make sure there’s no way they can’t not do what it is you’re actually wanting them to do.

Third Rule of Coaching: No matter what mood/state you’re in, you need to be happy, energised and enthusiastic. And if you fake it, by the end of the session you’ll probably be feeling it.

Think about where you want your players when doing a demo. Can they see? Can they hear?

Get everyone in and listening before you start trying to explain something. Don’t just try talk when people aren’t paying attention.

I often talk way too fast… Don’t, if you do.

Where are you looking? Look people in the eyes when you’re explaining something. Don’t pace/fiddle/fidget too much. Act confident and you will become so.

With every drill, think about the next step. Does collect become feed or the other way around?

Be prepared. But also, a good plan is one that can adapt.

For drills have alternatives for different numbers of participants, you never know who might (not) turn up.

Every coach should have to completely wing a session once in his or her career… Enjoy it.

If you’re coaching a team jointly, make sure the two of you agree on each others’ roles and responsibilities, even down to the tiniest detail, such as who emails who/what/when. Two coaches working on different timescales can easily step on each other’s toes.

Coaching drunk is fun, but not recommended as a regular activity.

If your team or player has any mind-based problem, I find wristbands to be incredibly useful. A happy wristband forces an angry player to stop being angry. A wristband that you’ve associated with drinking will keep nerves away. Plus, they’re dead useful for sweaty people..

Having certain rules for a session can help, and can be fun. For example, I used to make all my players juggle a ball in their hands while I talked or demonstrated something. The ball acted as a bomb. If they dropped it, or let it be still, it would explode, and they would do press-ups. This was to make them comfortable in ball handling, as they had been dropping passes rather too much.

Other suggestions: Weak Hand Day – where every pass in the entire session has to be with a weak hand; Don’t Stop Moving, where no one can stand completely still – useful for one on one defence. Be Inventive.