A little bit of a group task to get a bit of discussion going. What Elements, in your opinion, make a successful coaching session? I’m not talking about balls, bibs and cones. I’m talking about what the players get out of it and at the end of your sessions when you leave and on the drive home, you look back at it and think ‘you know what, that was a successful session’. What are some of the things that you as a coach look to get out of your sessions?
I’ll kick us off with this one, which for me is probably the most important one whether you’re working with 5 year olds up to senior professional players. If they are not enjoying what they are doing then there is something wrong. I think they can train in all different environments and this enjoyment can be evident in everything that we do. What other things do we look for? [Asks audience]
Learning, yes absolutely. Crucial. Any others? Applying it. Any others? Challenges. Creativity. Game realistic, crucial I think and we’ll talk a little bit about that. Questions, that relationship between the coach and the player. Knowing what’s appropriate for the players that you are working with. Anymore? Togetherness. Any others from a coaching point of view? Ball rolling time, absolutely.
I’ll put a few up. Luckily for me the ones that you said are on mine. By no means are these the right or the wrong answers. These are things that I feel are valuable and I feel are key elements in a successful coaching session. Enjoyment and learning are the two big ones. Has to be inspiring. As a coach what you are delivering and what you are talking about has to inspire the players, regardless of the level.
You have to get the engagement of the players. Individual focus. The work that we do at Coerver, this is a massive part of what we do, particularly with the FA and the Youth Modules over the past few years. The focus on the individual has been crucial and something that I think has been overlooked 10/15 years prior to that. Absolutely crucial in our sessions that we have that positive environment. An increasing challenge. We can’t pitch the same session to our kids all the time and expect them to improve. There has to be a progression. There has to be an increase in challenge for our individual players. Another one for me that is absolutely vital is speed and tempo, which links in with game realism which someone said. By the end of it the actions that someone has done in training has to game realistic and has to be done at the tempo which are going to be successful in a game. That is the ultimate test of what we are doing in our practices’. Stretching, which we’ll come on to later. A balance of success and failure, are they learning through their successes or through the failure of the challenges that they have. Another thing which is prevalent in the academy system is the performance indicators. How do we know as a coach if what we’ve been doing has been successful for the players? We need to have these performance indicators that tell us that we are getting it and we are working on the right things.