Football Coaching Tips - Become A Better Communicator
football coaching tips we can give you involve communication.
You can know everything there is to know about football - the plays, drills, fundamentals, etc. If you can't communicate effectively, though, you're headed for a tough time. When coaching youth football, you need to be skilled at communicating with not only your players, but also their parents, the officials, the fans and other coaches.
Don't worry. This part of our website is going to explore all the football coaching tips you need to improve as a communicator in your football coaching role. Not only to improve how you get messages to others but also how you listen.
One thing to realize regarding communication is that it involves much more than verbal commands. Body language and facial expressions play a huge role when you're communicating with others. Always remember that your actions will leave a longer lasting impression on others than your words will.
Let's dig in to the football coaching tips on how you can more effectively send messages to others while communicating in your youth football efforts.
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Some of the best
Football Coaching Tip #1) Consistency
You need to be consistent with your verbal communication. Don't tell your team something today and then two days from now completely contradict yourself. Don't send your players mixed messages.
An example - One of your players makes a mistake and you say in a sarcastic tone, "That was great". See how negative that's going to sound? Keep your tone consistent with what your words are intending to get across.
Football Coaching Tip #2) Positive Honesty
Nobody likes a crybaby. Remember that. You want to be honest with your team and it must always be in a positive way.
So don't be afraid to correct mistakes. If you try to gloss over them, you'll lose your team's respect. They know when mistakes are made so don't try to ignore them. Just be sure to fix mistakes in a positive way that helps a player see what was done correctly but also feel good about fixing the mistake.
When pointing out a mistake, first say what was good, then say "and if you follow through properly, you'll complete the pass", rather than "but if you follow through properly, you'll complete the pass".
See the difference? Just that little word "and" will help your youth football players "hear" the positive thing you mentioned first. The word "but" will make a lot of people forget the positive remark and focus all their attention solely on the mistake.
Football Coaching Tip #3) Say It In Plain English
Don't speak to your team unclearly. Think through what you want to get across ahead of time and deliver your thoughts in a clear, concise manner. Come right out and say it. Don't go off on tangents and bore your players with unnecessary talk. Get to the point and then get the troops moving.
Football Coaching Tip #4) Make Sure You're Understood
Speak in a clean, crisp voice. Be strong in your speech without being too imposing. Don't sound weak and don't mumble. If your voice comes across clear and your team can tell you're excited to be there, they'll tune in.
Also, don't assume that just because you say something once, that all your football players got it. Everyone can hear things slightly differently or miss an important point the first time. So repeat things in a slightly different way so you're not boring, but so that anyone missing it the first time will eventually pick it up.
Football Coaching Tip #5) Facial Expressions
Be aware of how closely anyone, not just football players, will pay attention to what your face is "saying". Don't be a phony and try to hide what you really feel with a serious blank stare or a fake smile. As we've mentioned, be consistent.
Realize, also, that just a simple smile can do wonders for a struggling player or a player unsure of what they're doing. Show them that you're behind them, glad to be with them and there to help. Don't overdo it either, though. Your players will pick up on that, too. As always, be genuine in your youth football coaching efforts.
Football Coaching Tip #6) Body Language
If you're standing on the sideline in a way that shows you are happy to be there and confident, how will your players respond as opposed to you scowling around all hunched over and looking angry? Remember to present body language that represents enthusiasm, class and character.
Body language can also be used in the form of physical contact such as a pat, a handshake or an arm around the shoulder. Stay ethical, of course but physical contact can show your football players the many emotions you feel about them - happiness, concern, affection, approval, etc.
Football Coaching Tip #7) Feedback
Think very carefully about how you provide feedback to your players. How do you think a player will respond if they're scolded for a mistake in front of the team? Wouldn't it be better to talk about some of that stuff one-on-one and make a big deal about what they did right in front of everyone? You bet!
Feedback is an area of communication that can profoundly impact your youth football team. Whether that impact is positive or negative is entirely up to you. Your players need and want to know what you think of how they're playing and how you like their effort and input.
Positive feedback will go much further than "sticking it to them" with negativity. There's a difference between being a positive, yet stern leader as opposed to being a simple jerk. Tip #2 already dealt with correcting mistakes. You don't have to be a pansy (that doesn't work, either) but shouting and yelling and making players feel small is not going to cause them to follow you.
Be an over-all positive figure in their lives. A lot of your players need one.
Football Coaching Tip #8) Listen!
So far, we've been discussing how you can get more response from your players as they are listening to your messages. Now let's focus on an area that most people have the toughest time with. Being the listener.
The most important aspect of this is for you to really pay attention to your players. Yes, as a youth football coach, you have a lot of people trying to get your attention and there are many distractions. But if you're going to get better at this communication thing, you've got to focus on really seeing and hearing your players' verbal and non-verbal signals.
Start practicing this and watch how much more you instantly start to learn about your team. You'll see that Bill is upset over something even though he's trying hard to hide it. You'll see how each player reacts to not only you but to one another. There's a lot of very important information to be learned here! Don't over-look this skill called listening.
Before we go to the next tip, remember that it's not enough to just pay attention and observe. If you don't make it absolutely clear to your football players that they are being heard and understood, it won't make much difference.
If your players keep hearing you say, "What was that?" or "Did you say something?", you're in trouble and you need to work on your listening skills big time. Your players must know you care way before they'll care about what you have to say. Remember this because too many football coaches don't.
Communicating With Non-Players
Football Coaching Tip #9) Communicate Well With Parents
We can almost hear you saying, "Man, there's so much to all this communicating stuff. I just want to coach football!". Well, we're almost done. These are the last few football coaching tips in regards to communication. Then we can get you onto things like plays, drills, or fundamentals.
OK, what's probably one of the first things a parent wants to know about their child's experience with football? They might want to be assured that you the coach, will be someone who knows the game and will take their child's well-being seriously. Why not have a meeting before the season begins where you can let all the parents know about yourself and what they can expect from you?
We all know that some parents can be very demanding and even disruptive. Handle all situations with the same character and class we've already discussed. Be sure to talk with parents after games or phone them and get to the bottom of any issue immediately. Don't let any question or concern go unanswered for an unreasonably long time.
Football Coaching Tip #10) Communicate Well With Fans (or not!)
Yes, you and your team are going to hear stuff from the stands and many times it won't be nice to listen to. Always prepare your players for this. When they get upset over something coming from the fans, be there to help reassure them that a fan's rattling on isn't all that important.
Now, as far as any negative stuff you will definitely hear from fans criticizing your coaching, decide right now to handle it correctly. Realize the intent is usually to rattle you and you're not helping anyone by getting involved with the fans. Above all, keep your players at the forefront of your mind.
Again, we've already discussed this earlier, but what image do you want to present for your team? Do you want your players to see you a cool, confident coach with character or a blustery, un-confident person who will get into it with anyone who dares call your coaching into question? We'll let you answer that one for yourself.
Please take this football coaching tip seriously. Not handling these types of situations can, and has, turned very ugly in the past.
Football Coaching Tip 11) Communicate Well With Officials
We know this can be very tough at times, but, once again, your team will look to you for how they should treat the refs. Show the refs respect with a handshake before the game, some conversation and treat them well during games. Yes, even when they blow an important call!
If you yell and turn nasty, you'll only be embarrassed later. And worse, your players will get the message that it's OK to treat the officials with disrespect. That's not showing character and it's not good for the game.
Football Coaching Tip #12) Communicate Well With Other Coaches
Kind of the same idea as tip #11. Talk to them before and after games. Show your players that they are competing against the competition, not fighting. Show them that before, during and after games, they should always treat the opposition with respect.
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