What makes a good football coach? It’s a question that most coaches have been asked on their journey and will also often ask themselves when reflecting on their performances and what they can do better.

Think about some of the best coaches in the world. What makes them effective and take them to the levels they have reached and the success they have achieved?

Their experience and knowledge of the game is undoubted, but there have been many great players who may know the game inside out but who have not been able to take their on-field success and translate it to success in the dugout.

“Assuming that a coach has a strong base of sport-specific knowledge, when we think about excellent coaches, inevitably, expertise is not defined by what they know, but by how they do it,” says Sarah McQuade in our free webinar, The Art of Effective Communication, which is available to watch on the MiMentor Platform.

Sarah, one of our course mentors, is an expert in coaching process and coaching performance with 20 years’ experience within sports coach education.

She has worked closely with many sporting governing bodies around the world, from football, rugby and athletics, to golf, rowing and tennis, and believes that expert coaching is as much about relationships and communication as it is topical expertise and know-how.

“It doesn’t matter how much of a technical expert you are, if you cannot build relationships and you cannot communicate, you are going to struggle to help anyone learn and develop,” she adds.

“It’s the difference that makes the difference, and in this case that is a coach’s ability to build relationships, to create the climate and to communicate effectively.”

The Art of Communication webinar, that also features two of our other mentors, Grant Downie, former head of performance services at Manchester City, and sports psychologist Philippa McGregor, supports our CPD course on the subject.

In the course, Sarah and UEFA Pro Licence coach Ben Garner help students gain a greater understanding of the importance of communication to enable them to adapt their approach to different circumstances, scenarios, and people within the game.

The course covers five lesson topics focusing on the importance of effective communication, listening, asking questions, reflecting on your coaching skills, and communication in a soccer coaching context.

Expertise is not defined by what they know, but by how they do it.

Sarah McQuade

It helps coaches to develop their understanding and knowledge of communication, building on the basics around an extremely important area of football coaching and development.

How effective are you as a communicator with your players? Is it something you consider often?

At each game or training session, you will often need to choose the appropriate way to communicate with your players, whether as a team, group or individuals.

There will be occasions where your communication needs to be quick and more direct. On other occasions, your communication style may be more open with fewer time constraints. It may be through talking and telling, demonstrating, or asking questions to gauge the understanding of the players.

Naturally, with experience, you will become more adept in each of these scenarios and while what you say is important, how you say it and deliver the message is key.

You can learn and develop your communication methods and styles from observing other coaches, particularly those with experience in high-level football. Meanwhile, reflecting on your performance, understanding what went well and what didn’t, is another valuable method for you to develop your skills as a communicator.

To maximise the progress of the players that you are coaching, it is important that you not only plan your coaching topic from a technical perspective, but also consider how you are going to communicate your messages, ensure that you use a mixture of delivery techniques to meet all of their learning needs.

If you’d like to delve deeper into The Art of Communication, you can watch our free webinar again here or enrol on our CPD course, led by our MiMentor experts Sarah McQuade and Ben Garner by clicking here.

The Art of Effective Communication
What makes a good football coach? It’s a question that most coaches have been asked on their journey and will also often ask themselves when reflecting on their performances and what they can do better.
Resources
In this webinar, we introduce a players perspective with special guest Shaun Wright-Phillips. SWP talks to our expert panel about his experiences with coaches throughout his playing career.
Video
This FREE booklet brings together a dozen football coaching practices that cover different aspects of the game - attacking, defending and finishing.
Document
Our expert mentors shared their insights and experiences and answered a whole host of questions from the many coaches who joined us live on the webinar. It was a valuable and interesting session for those who wanted to develop their coaching EI but also to support the development of their players.
Video
In our new Mentoring Soccer Coaches Diploma course, we explore the role and importance of the coach mentor, led by our coach development mentor Sarah McQuade, alongside Ian Barker and Vince Ganzberg from diploma partners United Soccer Coaches.
Planning an integrated pre-season programme.
This free download will give you some guidance on the considerations prior to planning pre-season.
Document
In this PDF, you will find some sessions that you can use with your teams that promote the principles of play for attacking, defending and developing transitions which are explained in the course 'Principles of Play'.
Document
Our all-new Mentoring Soccer Coaches Diploma, in collaboration with United Soccer Coaches, is the perfect opportunity for you to develop your understanding of mentoring and become even more effective at supporting others.
The coaches coffee club will be a series of discussions with coaches from all over the world discussing the topic of what quality or characteristic makes an effective coach? We are joined by Tony McCallum on the first episode.
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