“When building your philosophy on coaching, its important to seek knowledge and guidance from the very top coaches in the game”
The quotes below are ones that guide my belief that individual development is key to managing talent effectively – and ultimately creating a winning team.
When I discuss individual development – people automatically believe I am talking about creating “showboaters” and players who can do twenty step overs before making a pass.
What I’m actually talking about is – FOOTBALL IDENTITY
A players football identity, is their vision of themselves playing at their very best level and having a positive impact on the outcome of a game. When a player has this clear vision in their minds, they can set about working to create this level as much as possible and also using this as a basis to improve further (in all areas of their game).
Therefore, your football identity is similar to your personality, its a very personal thing and something that you need to take ownership of and develop/grow over time.
Its my experience, that young players need a strong guide/mentor in order to assist them with this process of discovery.
“It’s about unblocking peoples limits – allowing them to have greater self belief – and then fulfilling their potential”
For example – all people have a personality outside of the pitch, built up of strengths and weaknesses and often how we see life is a direct line to how we mentally associate with things. It’s the same for footballers when inside the pitch. So whether it’s technical, tactically, physical or most definitely in young pro’s – psychological – then we need to get inside this and open up possibilities rather than closing them.
It sounds very complex, but its really about being an effective communicator and giving your time to the players both outside and inside the pitch. Its about “going the extra mile”
It begins with the 1 to 1 relationship and develops each day via open questioning and then clever planning around the training on the pitch, basically understanding people and applying good communication skills.
What is your playing identity/personality?
How do you train it every day?
How does it fit inside a team?
How good are you at building relationships?
Are some of the key questions to discuss with your players in order to begin a process of making them less dependant on you (coaches in general) and more independent as a footballer.
The next process – Go inside these answers and develop a plan of action, work at it daily, revert back to it when required and most definitely review and amend as time progresses.
Its also worth remembering that the best players, are the best because they are obsessed with their profession and wanting to improve. Coaches are often scared to coach/guide these types of players, but these are the ones that want it the most!!
Its my personal opinion, that all players are developers and this model is just as important with young developing players as it is with senior professionals who are striving to stay at the very elite level of the sport.
“Its about creating a growth mentality amongst your players”
That is why the Jose Mourinho quote below is so interesting to me “Football is a human science”
My Journey of discovery
“South America is still the supplier of the worlds most talented players, especially those who play with freedom, creativity and invention”
A big part of me coming here (Brazil) was to understand the culture of South American players and football in general. I have been lucky to work with South American players in the past – but predominantly, I have worked with players from across Europe – therefore, this is a missing link in my development and a fantastic opportunity to learn more about people, which is the key.