great soccer coach

Are you looking for a coach to take your game to the next level? Are you thinking of a career in coaching? Are you currently coaching?

If your answer is YES to any of these three questions then it is essential you know how a successful football coach may be most effective.

Below are KIKOFF’S 3 essential characteristics of a successful football coach….


If you think you know everything, then you actually know nothing.

One attribute all effective coaches have is a growth mindset with respect to learning new skills. The approach that working hard, learning more and finding ways to solve problems to overcome obstacles during the education process for both the player and the coach is one, which separates the best coaches from the pack.

If a coach isn’t looking back at what they were doing several years prior and thinking ‘that could have been better’ then they are on the wrong path to progressing their coaching ability.

Mastering football coaching is an endless pursuit, knowing how to educate on the technical, tactical, physical and psychological aspects of the game is not the end of it. Additionally, it is very important to understand pedagogy, without a deep understanding of it you are going to be full of knowledge with no appropriate way of putting it into practice.


You can’t rush the process.

Improving just one skill is a lengthy process. With football being a culmination of a variety of skills it is critical that the appropriate amount of time is allowed to delivering a successful learning curriculum.

You don’t have to look far to see coaches delivering drills to 10 year olds they saw from a professional team on Youtube or setting up sessions that looks like an event from Crufts.

Most of the time this is a typical ‘all show and no go’ style of coaching.

The fundamental skills must be done exceptionally well, which takes years of practice to accomplish. A successful coach understands this and is able to wait patiently as his players develop through a proven learning process, which often includes repetition after repetition!

Without this patience a coach will feel inclined to speed ahead to the next phase from the textbook or to a session he delivered during a coaching course because it may seem more interesting or that you are looking like a more advanced coach. Be patient with your players and respect the learning process.


This is an essential characteristic in every industry.

No doubt, everyone has his or her own way of defining effective communication. Different forms and styles are certainly more useful depending on the context.

With that being said there several things a good communicator will do which will see their coaching sessions improve dramatically.

Successful communication can be found from a football coach by presenting facts to players: false praise or negative feedback with nothing to back up your statements is a recipe for disaster.  Whereas providing feedback to players with facts to back up what you are saying or the ‘why’ of your coaching sessions can be a very effective tool.

Communication on the pitch must also be specific. A common fault coaches can make is ‘over coaching’. Whilst you may want to let everyone know how much you know, not everyone else wants to. Great coaches are specific and get to the point.

Furthermore, coaches who ask questions of their players for them to think of a solution and also ask for clarification that everyone understands their instructions is a common theme from successful communicators.

Lastly, and arguably most importantly, a coach who is a great communicator will listen to their players.

Communication is a two way street and being in charge of a squad of players with a wide range of personalities can become troublesome if you are relying on them listening solely to your voice.

Player input is essential, they require different man management and of course everyone will learn differently.

Listening after all isn’t about what has been said, but what is heard.

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