THE RELATIONSHIP COACH
Seeing the world through the eyes of your players is fundamental if you want to get the very best from them. Each player is unique, with a different profile, personality, and purpose. True empathy unlocks your ability to relate to their tensions, anxieties, frustrations, and ambitions. When you understand the person, you get double from the player. We are human beings; we all feel the need to be valued and loved, to contribute, and to feel connected.
This book was written from the perspective of attempting to understand the practical experiences of coaches. It was written so that they may apply the principles within it to improve their coaching and themselves.
There are two fundamental truths at the heart of effective modern day and future coaching – leadership and management – and, of these, the very best coaches think forward. To stay ahead of the game, they operate in the present,but they think in the future. What worked yesterday won’t work today. What works today will not work in the future. Here’s why.
Yesterday, hierarchy was the model; today, successful teams are bred on equality.
Yesterday’s leaders commanded the ship; today’s facilitate their crew’s synergy.
Yesterday’s managers demanded respect; today’s encourage self-respect.
Yesterday’s employees waited for orders; today’s teams innovate.
Yesterday’s senior status signified superiority; today, collaboration is king.
Yesterday, results drove value; today, your core values drive the results.
Yesterday’s leaders commanded control. Tomorrow’s leaders must inspire and empower.
And nowhere do you see these things more than when working with your players.
Let’s explore this in more detail.
Dictatorial leadership is dying. High-performance engagement and training in the modern football world is based on effective negotiation underpinned by an appreciation for human personality and motivational values.
The coach of the future is not an X’s and O’s strategist (though this is, of course, a non-negotiable foundation), they are a developer of people, and will require an unparalleled knowledge and appreciation for the nature of human development. This is true for coaches working with players at all levels of the game, from the grassroots community and academy to the senior professional and international stage.
The stupid footballer is dead. The availability of information through the internet means that players (like people) don’t blindly follow anyone, anywhere, anymore. They learn and gain knowledge independently. Accordingly, the leaders who only know how to dictate will die.