“I don’t like a yelly coach. The coach who stands on the side-line and says ‘do this, do that.’ That’s probably my biggest pet hate.” (18 year old boy)
One of the biggest challenges we coaches face is to remain quiet on match day. We can see things unfolding in front of us and there will be an urge to yell out advice. If we just get their attention, we’ll be able to quickly fix a problem. However all too often we end up commentating the game, constantly yelling from pitch-side, directing them where to go, whilst giving advice to the referee. This behaviour can be massively overwhelming for young people. And if we’re behaving like this, we will soon see our parents and supporters following suit.
Young people are crying out for autonomy. They want the chance to make decisions and have some sense of control of their lives. A coach directing their every move can be daunting. So give them a chance to develop their decisions. Give them some space.
If we find ourselves wanting to yell advice, it’s interesting to know why. Is it for our players or ourselves? Often we want to see the team perform well and we may not have prepared them well enough. Well that’s ok, as you’ll never be able to prepare your team for every situation. But if you are a coach who wants to give players ownership, then you’ll need to set up a training environment to support that.
Then find tools to remain calm and quiet on the side-line, such as a packet of biscuits or drink bottle - every time you want to yell, eat a biscuit or have a sip. Maybe the latter might be the best option for your health?