Coaching individual football players

Due to the unpredictable nature of football, the players are responsible for making the correct decisions during the game. Football is a ‘players game’ as the coach cannot be a puppet master and give play by play directions to the players.


However, there are many coaches who try to “remote control” the actions of their players from the side line, especially when mistakes are about to be made.

By giving players the solutions for the problems they face in the game, the coach makes it his problem. As a result, every time there is a break-down in the game players will look to him to come up with a solution from the side line. This makes players passive and dependent on the coach. The problems on the field need to be the problems of the team, and players have to learn to find solutions on their own.

What is the best style of coaching to help individual players come up with the correct solution by themselves?

Coaching a football team

Unfortunately, in football, the term ‘team building’ is frequently used for processes which primarily have nothing to do with developing a football team like, for example, survival trips. However, after a weekend in the wilderness, a football team will not suddenly improve their attack, defense and transition. Of course, during such a trip a number of processes in the inter-personal area will improve which, indirectly, can facilitate the football team building process on the pitch.

According to legendary Dutch coach Rinus Michels, who introduced Total Football in the 1970s, team building by definition takes place in the situation where it needs to be applied. So, in football, ‘team building’ is another word for developing a football team which learns to attack, to defend and transition better.

What is the best style of coaching to facilitate the football team building process on the pitch?

Coaching the football coach

Wherever a football coach goes, he will always take himself with him. In other words, is the coach aware of his own personality and the impact of this personality on players, staff members, board members, sponsors, journalists, etc? Does every coach forces himself to have a look in the mirror every now and then?