By Asaph Mwebaze
A good coach is not just about learning the main skills and getting the right qualifications, although that’s a good start. It’s about methodology, personality, man-management, and mental attitude.
If you are thinking about a career as a football coach, having a certain set of skills and attributes could help you to achieve success.
Knowing the type of coach you are
Good coaches recognise their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, a natural authoritarian might come over as aggressive and confrontational.
If the coach recognises this fact, he or she can modify their behaviour depending on the individual they are coaching.
Similarly, a master tactician may recognise that they lack man-management skills and take steps to address their own shortcomings.
The best coaches understand that a team requires many different skills and qualities. While some players will excel in technical areas, others will excel when it comes to commitment, fitness, strength and leadership.
Coaching a team means giving some individuals more time and guidance than others in certain areas of the game.
This requires patience, and an understanding that players learn and develop at different paces.
Some of the very best coaches in the history of the game will say that taking ultimate responsibility for the team’s performances is part and parcel of the job.
Not only does a great coach lead by example, he or she takes responsibility when things don’t go as planned.
Good leadership is also about walking the fine line between discipline and support. Football coaches must ensure their instructions are taken seriously and acted upon without causing bad feeling and an atmosphere of intimidation.
In short, coaches need to lead dozens of different personalities into battle and get the best out of each one of them.
Good communication skills
Whether a coach is giving a team talk, delivering constructive feedback or talking tactics, excellent communications skills are essential.
The best coaches will adapt the way they communicate depending on the scenario or the player they are communicating with.
The method of communication a coach employs should get the point across without having a negative impact on morale or motivation.
There is always a positive to take from football even in the face of defeat. The best coaches remain positive when dealing with adversity, and are always looking for opportunities rather than challenges.
No team in the history of football has ever won a major trophy on ability alone. Passion is a prerequisite to success and players particularly young ones will often take their lead from their coaches in this regard.
Passion doesn’t just come from the love or affection for a particular team; it can come from a desire to be the best or to work hard for teammates.
Good coaches instil a sense of passion in every aspect of a footballer’s career.
The author is a CAF B licensed coach he also holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce in Accounting and Finance degree and a Master of Arts in Public Administration.