In this blog, we are going to explore how clubs can support their coaches. This blog aims to highlight how grassroots clubs can identify the right coaches but also support them once they’ve joined.

Getting the Right Coaches:

Clubs have a responsibility to try and identify the right people to join their club as a coach. Clubs should look to appoint the right people at the club and may need to sometimes may difficult decisions on who they offer a role to and who they choose not to. Whilst choice may be limited for clubs when appointing new coaches/volunteers, clubs should look focus on recruiting the right people and not necessarily the best coaches.

Therefore, for any club that is looking to identify coaches here are some key areas that you may wish to consider to help you to recruit the right people:

  • Qualifications
  • DBS / Safeguarding Checks
  • Experience
  • Availability

The above are just some of the areas that should be considered whenever clubs are looking to appoint coaches. Likewise, it is equally important to understand: who they are, how they coach, and what they want to achieve. For any voluntary position, clubs should be encouraged to develop an induction for individuals that are joining the organization to provide them clarity on what the clubs’ expectations are of them. Expectations that may need to be considered in an induction could be:

  1. Number of Players/Teams/Coaches you already have
  2. Club Goals/Needs
  3. Coaching Philosophy
  4. Mission Statement, Values, Ethos
  5. Code of Conduct
  6. The Role of the Coach
  7. Safeguarding

Providing coaches with a strong induction as well as regular support throughout their time at the club once they have started is important. As highlighted in a previous blog, appointing a ‘Coach Developer’ within the club can play a pivotal role in helping coaches once they have joined. Clubs should be discouraged from appointing a coach into a new role and simply leaving them to it. Coaches will need continuous ongoing support throughout their time with the club and just an induction at the beginning isn’t enough.

Developing Coaches At My Club & Mentoring

Meeting the needs of your coaches:

Identifying the needs of your coaches is a great starting point to helping the club understanding how they can provide ongoing support for their coaches. Each coach will have different needs but there will also be areas that clubs will feel will benefit all of their coaches too.

Joop Oosterveld at PSV Eindhoven when speaking with Football DNA in our coaches forum shared that for them coach development is equally important to player development. Therefore, coaches should take pride in developing their coaches as the better your coaches are, the better your players will be.

Identifying the needs of the individual can be formed once the coach begins but also throughout the season as it progresses. Coaches may find areas that they need help with once the season has begun and clubs that are active in listening to their coaches will be in a strong place in understanding how they can support them. An individual development plan is a great way of capturing a broad overview of who that coach is, how they coach but also what do they need? Clubs should look to find innovative ways in supporting their coaches whether that is through providing them with new ideas for coaching sessions, support with dealing with parents, or gaining a new qualification just to name a few.

Supporting your coaches with session practices and ideas:

A common challenge coaches have is producing quality coaching sessions to meet the needs and ability of the grassroots player. This is why Football DNA have detailed full season curriculum plans available for each age group!

U5-U8: footballdna.co.uk/?p=50381

U9-U12: footballdna.co.uk/?p=41113

U13-U16: footballdna.co.uk/?p=48279

Not only do Football DNA offer these but we work very closely with clubs around the world supporting their coaches with access to the website where they can access over 1000 videos from top professional coaches. This forms a club membership where we work with clubs to provide multiple coaches access for a discounted rate. You can get more information and costs by emailing: info@footballdna.co.uk

Supporting your coaches with challenges:

In a previous blog, we discussed some of the common challenges that we find in grassroots coaching. These challenges varied from dealing with parents, game time, and planning. However, whilst these are some common challenges that we often have raised with us at Football DNA it’s important that clubs acknowledge what are the main challenges their coaches are facing within the club.

A coaches forum can be a great way of creating open and honest conversations between the coaches and the club. Providing coaches with a platform to not only share best practices but also discuss between them some of these challenges can be invaluable in creating an open working environment. Clubs should listen to what these challenges are and find ways in which they can support their coaches internally as well as externally to help them with these.

https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/what-it-takes-to-coach-your-people/

Acknowledging your coaches:

People that tend to move into coaches are selfless individuals that take great satisfaction in helping others. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that coaches also need to be acknowledged for their commitment and sacrifices that they’ve made to help those that they’re working with.

Below we have highlighted some ways in which you can support your coaches at your club whilst making them feel valued:

  • Coaching Awards (by the club/players)
  • A Thank You From Your Players/Parents
  • Sufficient Coaching Equipment/Kit
  • Opportunities for CPD/Qualifications
  • Social Events

Placing an emphasis on acknowledging and rewarding your coaches will help to develop togetherness within your club as well as help promote an open working environment. Coaches that are made to feel part of the club will be more inclined to go above and beyond in supporting the young people within it. However, this shouldn’t be taken for granted and clubs will need to find regular opportunities to acknowledge the work that is being delivered by their coaches.

We would love to hear from clubs about how they support their coaches, so please reach out to us on our social media channels to help share best practices throughout our coaching community!