Every coach has been a beginner! No matter how much experience you have had as a player, coaching is a totally different experience. You are now in control of a group of players who are waiting on your instruction, guidance & knowledge to help improve them. In this blog we give you 5 Top Tips giving you some guidance on how to get started as a coach and allow you to deliver sessions your players will enjoy and learn from:

Be Organised: Plan out your session! One of the best pieces of advice I could give a coach is to have a series of drills/practices you are going to use and a structure. Ideally a few days before start putting some ideas down and how you are going to progress within the session too. The saying “fail to prepare, prepare to fail” is very true. Players will respect the coach who is clear, organised and looks to know what they are doing. Don’t turn up at the same time as the players, get down to the pitch 20 mins before, set up and see how the drills look and feel, you might even want to change a few or add in a few while setting up. Use the space to set up as much as possible so you don’t waste any time between drills. Have your session jotted down on some paper with coaching points & progressions to help you. 

Be Open Minded: Willingness to try new things or to hear and consider new ideas. An example of an open minded person is one who listens to their opponent in a debate to see if the information makes sense or if they can change their mind. No coach is perfect, the best coaches are the ones that listen and learn from good or indifferent experiences. Go and shadow more experienced coaches who you can learn from, from the smallest things like being organised to actual football knowledge. Take ideas from a range of different coaches and adapt them to your needs.

Patience: It is defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.In football as in many activities each player has their own learning speed, some will understand everything you say and some might need a visual demonstration, don’t get frustrated, be open minded and try to find a way for everybody yo enjoy and learn the sport. You will soon find players may need a little more time and guidance before grasping concepts and how you wish them to play or perform the session.

Productive: Use the tools you have and resources to the best use, you may not have the perfect materials to start off but that shouldn’t stop you or able you to make excuses. Adapt sessions you wish to use for the benefit of your players and what they need rather than to make you look good!  Too many of us spend way to much time talking to the players, they want to play and that is why they pay so stop talking and get them moving!

Demonstrations: This is one I particularly like doing, even with older players, instead of running through the drill and talking the players through it, get them into their positions and run them through it with the ball at the same time you demonstrate the drill. If you are not able to demonstrate it for any reason, get your best players to demonstrate it for you. This can be empowering to those players by highlighting their competence in front of their peers. Try to use a variety of coaching styles targeting each individual player.

The last point to add would be ENJOY IT! Have fun with the players, create relationships with them, there is no better feeling then seeing players improve. Coaching is a journey, learn from every experience and take time to reflect on your sessions & matches to help you next time out! If you have any questions as a beginner coach feel free to email: info@footballdna.co.uk or contact us through social media.