When the results are good, everything is relatively easy. The tricky part is to lead a soccer team dealing with problems and adversity. Many coaches quit every year because they do not know how to act or the directive itself gives their position up because they do not feel capable of removing the team from an adverse situation.
In today’s article, we give you the guidelines to lead your soccer team during tough times.
✔Never lose sight of the ultimate goal and focus your energy on short-term objectives. We have to put in maximum effort throughout the season; leave everything on the field, and have good matches. But if the team is low in the rankings, we need to support each other, as well work hard to climb back up. For this, we must concentrate our energies on short-term objectives, such as:
- Finish with zero goals against in the next game.
- Garner no expulsions in the next three games.
✔Give a personal example with visible and easy-to-remember symbols and behaviors. We must be an example for the players and the rest of the coaching staff to follow. The commitment and the work put into the team must be fundamental pillars, especially in delicate times.
✔Inspire optimism and self-confidence, but hold on to reality. We must be realistic in our ambitions. From there, having confidence and optimism in teamwork is essential, as it is a great force that guarantees success in many areas, not just sports.
✔Take care of yourself. Keep doing your job and let go of guilt and complexes. Many times, as coaches, we carry too much responsibility on our backs and projects fail. Success and failure belong to everyone though, not just the coach, and everyone must row in the same direction for the desired results to be reached.
✔Constantly reinforce your team’s message. You have to build the team’s identity: where the team comes from, where it is going, and what you need to do to get it there. Know that you seek success and that together, you will achieve it.
✔Minimize differences in status and insist on courtesy and mutual respect. In hard situations, all the team needs to work to get results. Surely there will be situations where some players’ egos will clash due to their perceived greater weight or category within the team; our job is nonetheless, to guide everyone in the group and let respect be the path to success.
✔Master conflict resolution. Learn to manage your anger and avoid unnecessary power struggles. The ability to resolve conflicts and make the right decisions in difficult times is essential, such as:
- If a team member is disrespectful to another, you should talk to him/her and find out what is happening to see if you can help.
- If the team loses and some of your teammates act disrespectfully towards the opponents, you must gather them and make them understand that a bad attitude is as unbecoming for winners as it is for losers.
✔Find something to celebrate and some reason to laugh. Celebrate small achievements with the group, however small they may be and include laughter at some point in the training; this will give us the energy to move forward.
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