Tag Archive for 'leadership'

How the coaches have to build cohesion

In this early period of the team games season, I am often asked how to improve the cohesion of a team especially by the coaches who work in junior teams and and also not professional teams. I make this distinction because among these coaches there is a widespread idea that having little time available, everything that goes beyond the technical work done in the field is unnecessary work, which we do not have time to do, precisely because: “We are not a professional team, where the players are always available.”

This attitude is the motivation that drives many coaches to believe that the players must adapt to their working method and the hierarchies proposed. Physical and technical/tactical preparation are the masters and if someone doesn’t agree, it’s worse for him/her.

Leadership is essentially manifested in the administration of a training program that must be followed without discussion. They start from correct considerations (limited time, reduced economic resources, not optimal hours for training) to arrive at wrong conclusions. Those who do not accept this approach are usually labeled as lazy, unwilling to make sacrifices or presumptuous.

Unfortunately for them, the culture of work and team cohesion are essential factors in a team sport and are not built with this approach. Team performance instead draws its strength from the daily training of the concept of US: the winning performance comes from the integration of the behavior of various players, teaching more players to do different things well, together and at the same time.

Coach has to:

  1. Encourage participation by listening to the players’ suggestions
  2. Avoide favouritism
  3. Reward altruistic behaviour
  4. Reduce individualistic behaviour
  5. Assign challenging and achievable goals to each player
  6. Assign each player a specific role
  7. Encourage a learning and collaborative training climate
  8. Stimulate maximum commitment and constantly reinforce it
  9. Always support the team when it is in negative momentum
  10. Spend time with athletes to evaluate their commitment to training
  11. Analyse coldly with the team the results of the matches

The question for coaches is: how much time do you spend developing these performance factors?

Tom Izzo and his intimidating leadership

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo had to be restrained by his players from going after freshman Aaron Henry.  The heated exchange came after a 10-0 run by the Spartans.

Izzo was furious with Henry for an unknown reason.  From the looks of it, this isn’t the first time he’s gone in on the young forward.

“Coach is filled with passion and emotion and love, you know, those are the main things that make him as great as he is,” Winston told reporters Friday. “When he’s getting after you or when he’s yelling it’s never out of harm. It’s never out of hate. It’s literally him wanting the best for you and him challenging you and pushing you the best you can be and it’s worked for years and years and years.

There should be no place for abusive, threatening & intimidating leadership–anywhere! If Michigan State coach Tom Izzo “leads” like this in public, what does he do when no cameras are present?

Tom Izzo Has to be Held Back from Going Full Bobby Knight on One of His Players

Mourinho winning mind

Lead the men - “Football for me is a human science, above all else.”

The coach is a global leader - “A coach has to be everything: a tactical, motivator, leader, methodologist, psychologist.” “A teacher at the university told me ‘a coach who knows only football is not a top level. Every coach knows football, the difference lies in other areas. He was a teacher of philosophy. I got the message.”

Football is global - “I do not do physical work. I defend the globalization of work. I do not know where it starts the physical part and end the psychological and tactical side.”

Customize communication – Adapting communication to each individual it is the most difficult task of a coach and he has to know how to challenge the players’ emotions.

Know the men - “There are many ways to become a great manager … but above all I think the hardest thing is to lead men with different cultures, minds and quality.” At Inter conceded a holiday to Wesley Sneijder who was exhausted. “All the other coaches have spoken only of training,” said Sneijder. “He sent me to the beach. So I went to Ibiza for three days. When I came back, I was willing to kill and die for him.”

Men are chosen - He believes in a 24-team players because this shows that every one of them has been chosen and will play a significant role for the team even if they are not famous.

Stimulate the players to understand -He stresses the tactical work, the coach is not a ‘transmitter’ and the team is not a ‘receiver’. He uses the method of ‘guided discovery’; the players reveal how to play based on the information they receive, from practical situations that will lead them on a certain path. ”

Constant focus on the mind - He is focused on the emotional , cognitive and interpersonal players’ dimensions. In this way the players, instead to follow the instructions as the pupils at school, develop the play ideas led by this mental approach to the game.

Teamwork and collective awareness - “I work with the players on a daily basis and I know those who are committed to the maximum are able to do well, while those that are not working properly are not able to play well. You play as you work, and I can say it straight to each player.

Working with intensity - Short training sessions and the presence of the ball encourage players to work at their maximum level of motivation and energy. He constantly pay attention to the mistakes and provoking the players if they make mistakes repeatedly.

Alex Ferguson’s winning rules

Alex Ferguson represents the history of football and a model of leadership studied all over the world. Below his ideas as he has told in his autobiography.
The construction of a football team - It must start from the youth activity, in order to build continuity in supplying players to the first team. The players grow together, producing a bond that, in turn, creates a spirit.
Inspire people to improve - “I have always been very proud to see the younger players as they develop.” In this way the work of a coach is similar to that of a teacher. He teaches the technical skills, the winning mentality and better people. This determines in young loyalty to the Club, since they are aware of the opportunities they have received.
Plan the future - The are players more than 30 years, those between 23 to 30 years and the younger. The success of a team is about four year cycle, and then changes are needed. The aim is to always know what is the team that you’ll want to have with an advance of a few years and decide accordingly.
Each training session is important – It must always be maintained a high training standards. They are important the motivational talks, team building, all the preparation of the team and talk about tactics. Do not ever allow an unsatisfactory training session. What you see in training occurs on the playing field. You always need quality, concentration, intensity and speed.
The talent always works hard – From the talents it must be expected a lot more than the others during the workouts. They should prove to be the best.
The locker room atmosphere must be always safeguarded – You have to wonder if someone is spoiling the atmosphere of the locker room, the team’s performance, and the control of the players and staff. If this happens you have to cut the cord. There is absolutely no other way. It does not matter if the person is the best player in the world. The long-term vision of the club is more important than any individual, and the coach has to be the most important in the club.
Encourage players - Nobody likes to be criticized, and there are few players who improve with criticism.  They should be encouraged. For a player, like any human being, there is nothing better than listening “Well done.” They are the two best words to listen. It is not necessary to use superlatives.
Correct the mistakes immediately - At the same time, in the locker room, it is necessary to indicate the mistakes when the players do not meet the expectations. This is when the criticism is important, immediately after the match, without waiting on Monday. After this time, you think about the next game and everything begins again.
In training we need to repeat – During the sessions the technical skills and tactics must be repeated.  The aim of each session is to learn and improve. This must be done even if the players can think “Here we go again”, because these repetitions help to win.
Manchester United style - Be positive, adventurous and take risks.
The observation - It’s an essential element of the skill management. The ability to see things is the key, more precisely, it refers to the ability to see things that you do not expect to see.
Change is a rule to follow - Typically who win does not think to change. It’s just the opposite. “We had to be successful — there was no other option for me—and I would explore any means of improving. I continued to work hard. I treated every success as my first. My job was to give us the best possible chance of winning. That is what drove me.”

Teenager on field: a challenge for the coach

When coaches train adolescent athletes t they need to use their interpersonal skills efficiently. The communication style more frequently adopted is to “be a friend.” In fact, even when the boys and girls grow up, the true challenge for the coaches is to maintain their role. The coach-friend does not help,the coaches need to apply some rules, useful also for parents, which allow them to have an open communication with the teenagers:

  • Stimulate active participation to facilitate the processes of attention and memory: give examples
  • Understanding the needs of the listeners. The motivation to listen is essential: which messages are more interesting for them
  • Search for the adolescent feedback. There can be no communication without information exchange: the feedback is, therefore, an essential step in this process
  • Create togetherness
  • Follow their own pace. They are used to deal with messages having these characteristics: speed, motion, color, sound, interactivity. Coach messages need to have some of these features otherwise attention and the motivation to listen will decrease
  • Use their jargon
  • Use different channels to communicate (visual, auditory, kinesthetic)
  • To be concrete without to overload  of information

At the same time there are attitudes that, in contrast, are able to stop any possibility of communication with the adolescents:

  • The excess of information
  • Giving feedback and negative feedback without pointing the way for change
  • Have an attitude of superiority: “I’m older and I know how things are going”
  • Maintain a physical and psychological distance
  • Have a manipulating and controlling leadership style

Communicating with young people is really a challenge. Often we remain displaced in front of their questions or their silences. They have the ability to move a lot of deep feelings that we must recognized and processed in order to continue to improve in our own role as a coach.

(by Daniela Sepio)

Stramaccioni, Inter coach, looks confuse

Inter have lostthe last match because  it played a bad game against Siena (3-1). The coach, Stramaccioni, was not able or did not want to explain why the team did not show a successful play system but also players did not show to  ”have not got hungry of victory “as he himself said. The issue is that Inter in the last 13 games has won 4, drawn 4 and lost 5, so it’s a lot period which does not play effectively. Take the responsibility upon himself is a nice gesture but since three months this situation is negative, and is a long time for a team. Explanations are too general and those who provided convey the image of a coach in difficulty and without ideas. I hope that in his head instead he has clear and specific solutions,  Stramaccioni is playing a critical phase of his career, because in these moments or leave the action with winning matches or else he may be caught up in the image of the young good coach but with little leadership on the team. I hope that next to him he has expert people to share this experience and that they can help you to make the best decisions for the future of the team and consequently for him

Alex Ferguson’s leadership

Anita Elberse and Tom Dye, Harvard Business School, conducted a study of Alex Ferguson through a series of interviews conducted in 2012. Ferguson is the most successful coach in the history of football with his 28 trophies. Ferguson’s main skill is motivate his players, defending them in public and criticizing in the locker room. To reward players tells them “well done” which considers the two best words to support people, since there is no need to use absolute expressions. Another essential aspect of his leadership resides in the idea that the more good you are, the more you have to commit and who does not conform to this principle is excluded. The rules are the same for everyone but at the same time he knows how to talk to every player to get the best. According Elberse and Dye Ferguson’s success also depends on the revolution that led to the youth program of Manchester United and that allowed him to get into the first team homegrown players like Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes. For him is essentially the difference between build a team and build a club. Therefore, since the beginning he has given visibility to the youth activities  and he wanted young players were in contact with the first team, in order to create a common attitude. Another key aspect to be successful for such a long period is to know how to renew his way to coach, adapting it to the new football requests, for this reason now he works together with experts in sports sciences and new technologies.

Styles of leadership

Speaking of coach leadership styles  every person in the sport world has developed her own idea of what should be, for example, the style of the winning coach rather than the losing. Everyone has his own personal list of the boss characteristics, which it is a very long list of psychological skills. So according to someone a leader must know how to listen and be innovative, others says he needs to know to take risk and unpopular decisions, for others should stimulate the autonomy of her athletes and serve as a model of ethical behavior to use as a model. Thousands of investigations have been carried out in universities in order to determine the profile of the leader and the behaviors that most often he should show. Having this information is certainly useful as it is to have their own personal list of behaviors that you would like to showed more regularly and frequently. But more important the question is: “Will she be able to adopt behaviors needed to deal with that situation?” Consequently the leader, the better coach is the one who from time to time is able to act as is required by the different situations even if the behaviors required are not preferred by him.

Leadership and employee management

Topics such as leadership and management of a team are always up to date daily as organizations need to deal with them effectively if they want to achieve their goals. And  it’s even more difficult today when most of the organizational realities, publics and privates, have reduced the financial resources with which to reward their employees, while at the same time calling for greater commitment and flexibility. On the basis of these premises Federculture (the Italian Association of Local Authorities, www.federculture.it) has included in its training program two days devoted to the theme “Leadership and management of responsibilities assigned to employees.” The workshop will be held in Rome and it is open not only to employees of local authorities but to all those who are interested in this issue. For more information: http://www.ceiconsulting.it/it/experiences/

Italy: first time of a woman as sport federation president

We always talk about the contribution that women can make to leadership in sport. In Italy a few days ago broke a taboo and for the first time at the head of a sport federation, one of equestrian sports, was elected a woman, Antonella Dallari, owner of a farm, 47 years of Modena. It was time, congratulations.