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A football coaches role is often assumed to be simple.  Just put players on the field and win.  In reality it’s very different.  Think about great coaches.  Some were strategists, others visionaries or great motivators.  If you compare this to being a parent with roles such as nursing, peace making, teaching and managing a hundred things at once you can start to appreciate that coaching has several facets, each suited to different situations.  My personal thought is a coach (in professional sports) can’t be the General Manager also.  These roles are separate identities within the teams hierarchy.

As critical decisions need to be made, it will be decided between the head coach and general manager with certainty whether to keep or cut players and staff.  This is not to be confused with those organizations who change for the sake of change, in the vague hope that it will work and that they will come out looking good.

So, what's a team looking for in a coach or general manager?

· Visionary  You must cast the vision to enthuse players and staff to focus on the team goal.

· Entrepreneur  Determination to give the team momentum and turn the vision into reality, ideally with the help of the general manager who will have already broken the big picture down and fill the team needs.

· Team maker   Gather together an army of assistants with the necessary skills to move the team forward.  Be a good judge of character, but also have an intuitive understanding of the strengths that already exist within the team, ensuring that imbalances are compensated by new additions.

· Monitor  Often this is overlooked because coaches that possess monitoring skills normally don’t have a charismatic approach.  However being a monitor plays an essential role in setting milestones and ensuring that everyone is moving in the same direction at the same pace.

Keeping the team energized requires:

· Motivator   Your role as a motivating coach sets goals, gives incentives and celebrates achievement.

· Shepherd  The focus here is on the players welfare.  In a sport based on winning the shepherd is often seen as a hindrance to getting the job done but ask those who work for these pastoral coaches and very often you will see their motivation to achieve the task on time and the standard is way above average.

When the team is struggling:

·
Re-engineer  They thrive on taking teams apart and putting them back together again.  We all know of stories where a coach or general manager has taken on a failing organization and turned it around.  With the benefit of experience elsewhere they can see where an organization is going wrong and know exactly how to put it right.  Once this is achieved though they may not have the skills to maintain the momentum and cast a vision for the future, like the entrepreneur they will be hungry to start a new challenge.

When it goes right:

· Bridge-builder  The team goals have become reality and brought with it several new obstacles, the danger is that each player and staff member will follow their own course rather than supporting the team goal.  This is the time listen, arbitrate, negotiate, compromise and relate.  Steer each towards a the team goal without detracting from their individual mission.

Examine the environment you’re within or considering and the hats you need to wear being the leader of that team.

Yours in football,
Coach Z

 

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What to Look For in a Coach