There are many things that can be coached and taught in the UK, although it should come as no surprise that football is the most popular of these activities.
In fact, football accounts for 18% of all coached activities on these shores, with training required at multiple levels of ability and across different age ranges.
But what are the key and universal attributes required to be a successful football coach?
Here are some characteristics to keep in mind:
1. You Need to be a Good Communicator
There’s a distinct difference between old-school football managers like Sir Alex Ferguson and modern legends such as Jose Mourinho, with the latter much more hands-on from the perspective of training and taking individual coaching sessions.
Because of this, coaches typically require excellent communication skills, in order to clearly explain their playing philosophy and demands placed on individual players.
Being a good communicator also makes it easier to organise team shapes, while successfully recognising players for good performances and providing constructive criticism when footballers underperform.
Of course, effective communication is also a two-way street and you’ll need to be a good listener as a coach. This way, you can gain feedback from players and remain open to new ideas, while creating a greater level of engagement within the team.
2. You Need to be Approachable
On a similar note, good listeners tend to be approachable. After all, players won’t be willing to address you or raise concerns if your manner intimidates them, creating communication breakdowns and resentment over time.
This is arguably more important when coaching younger age groups, who are generally more inquisitive and inclined to ask questions as they continue to learn about the game.
As an approachable coach, you can cultivate better relationships with your players, while helping them to develop their tactical understanding of the game and ensuring that they can come to you in instances where they want to talk or need guidance.
3. You Need Solid Organisational Skills
On a fundamental level, good football coaches also tend to have solid organisational skills and a keen attention to detail, which impact on everything from individual coaching sessions to a team’s performance on match days.
Good organisation skills enable you to get the most from your coaching sessions, for example, as you look to target different developmental areas and build relevant skills over time.
Such skills also make it easier to organise team trips and travel arrangements when coaching at a lower level, where you may have more responsibility off the training pitch.
Attention to detail serves a similar purpose here, while this can also prove crucial from a tactical perspective when coaching during matches.
For example, a keen eye for detail makes it easy to spot tactical or systematic flaws during games, allowing you to make proactive changes that change the outcome of individual matches.