Coaching Tip of the Week #17

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“Don’t be precious”

Every (good) coach has a unique philosophy, an individual methodology, a particular style of play.  This is only right and normal.  After studying and observing and practicing and learning, every coach will sooner or later come to their own unique way.  When they are working it is only right and normal that the coach will want to impart this unique way on his charges and will understandably be frustrated at failure to achieve that goal.

However, the coach must never forget that the goal of the club which appointed / employed them IS NOT the implementation of that methodology.  The goal of the club is some performance outcome and while the methodology was presumably an important factor in the selection process it is not the goal itself.  Coaches must certainly have faith and trust in their hard won beliefs and be ready to fight for them, but on the other hand the coach can’t be precious about them.  The world is full of unemployed coaches who put their own philosophy ahead of the performance of the team.

The same principle applies to tactics.  Sometimes tactics are great on paper and don’t work in practice.  Sometimes tactics work well with one team, but not another.  Sometimes the same tactics work well in one season, but not in the next.  The coach can’t be precious about tactics either.

There are lots of ways to get to an outcome.  Sometimes the ‘right’ way doesn’t work.  Don’t be precious.  Go and find a way that does.


The collection of Coaching Tips can be found here.


For more great coaching tips, check out the Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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