Successful Coaches

Watching my daughter's soccer game last night gave me a renewed appreciation of good coaches. She's 14 and has been playing soccer at a highly competitive level for 4 years now. She's had several different coaches. In a competitive environment, a coach's success is measured by his win percentage. Coaches can achieve a high level of success by various means. In my experience, the best coaches display these attributes:
  1. They understand the game. They know a variety of tactics and are able to employ different tactical approaches based on the demands of the present situation.
  2. They understand that they are dependent on their team for success. No coach ever scored a point or prevented the opponent from scoring from his or her position on the sidelines. The team members do that.
  3. They earn the respect of their team members. They're honest with the team. They acknowledge their own mistakes. They offer plenty of praise and compliments for good play, and they give immediate, specific, and constructive feedback when a player makes a mistake. In the end, they recognize the individual value of each player. If a player isn't willing or capable of making a contribution to the team's success the coach respects the individual and the team enough to help that player move on. On the other hand, he helps every player who is willing and capable achieve their potential as an individual contributor and team member.


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