My coaching experience might not be the longest timewise but I’ve learned quite a few things through this time. I could pile them in good and bad. Positives and negatives, whatever you prefer but I’ll do that another time.
Today I’ll talk about challenges. Some would list challenges under something bad or negative but I most certainly wouldn’t. One of the main things why I love coaching is because it challenges me on a daily basis. I love being challenged. It motivates me. It’s a constant problem solving and solution finding. Not a single work-day is the same for me. Everything changes and since it’s a challenging job to do, it’s also very rewarding. I’m all up for challenges because I just simply love the reward afterwards.
3 challenges in coaching that first came to my mind:
I believe coaching is all about planning. If you really care for your players development and success, you need to plan. Any kind of planning is better than no planning. Ideally, you have to plan yearly, monthly, weekly and daily. I prepare for every single session. Sometimes it takes quite a lot of time for me to prepare a session that I feel very confident about and I’ll know I’ll get from it exactly what I wanted. I believe that years down the road, it will take a little less time as I’ll have more drills in my coaching baggage and more experience and a better understanding of everything in general.
Why is it a challenge? Mainly, because it’s very time consuming and takes a lot of thinking and most people would probably find that as the least fun part of the coaching job.
2.Making it fun and competitive.
While trying to reach a goal through drills and making my players learn, I find it very important to keep it fun and interesting. Therefore, I try to make every training session different so it doesn’t get boring to them. Doesn’t mean I won’t use the same drill twice. I definitely have some drills, that I like more and I find them very successful so I’ll use them more often but I’ll make sure I change it up a little now and then, add a little spice to it. Keeping it competitive is also very important.
I can relate this to while I was a player myself. I did have some coaches through my playing days that would give the same training for a week or two in a row. To be honest, I absolutely hated it. It got boring and harder to motivate myself. Often it was just about getting through the session. I’m a very competitive person so for me to make it enjoyable – I needed competition.
3.Knowing my players.
Everyone is different, so are my players. While all the players are doing the same thing, playing soccer and learning the game, everyone needs a different approach. Their personalities are different and I need to learn about them. It takes time, I won’t get to know them in one day. Some players need more encouragement, some need more pushing. Some might need that little bit of that personal attention, some don’t need any of that.
People get in different moods. I can personally relate to that. One minute I’m super happy, next minute I’m super sad. That’s just how I am. It’s important to recognize that in my players as well. For example, if someone is not feeling too well, sometimes it’s just good to let them be and go through the session on their own. Without asking much or pressuring them because we don’t ever know what they might be going through and that’s just a way of me showing that understanding. Some people on the other hand need that word from you, that little push and encouragement in those moments.
There are so many more challenges, but these three really stand out for me and I face them on a daily basis. The more you care about what you are doing, the more challenges you will face through the process. Therefore, it’s important to not stress about it. Instead, face them – solve them.