How to Manage and Engage the Players You Are Working With – INSPIRE FC BLOG

How to Manage and Engage the Players You Are Working With – INSPIRE FC BLOG

Coaching Style

  • Clear, concise communication, using ‘words & pictures’
    • Get started in 90 seconds or less
    • Provide demonstrations whilst talking
  • Changes in tone of voice – loud, soft, emotive
  • Positive and open body language
  • Connection with players
  • Flexible approach – Friendly and firm
  • Provide players with positive re-enforcement, encouragement, and praise


  • Have field set up and ready to go prior to player arrival
  • Put players in positions before you explain practice / exercise
  • Efficient set up so that you can transition from one practice to the next
  • Keep sessions flowing by having balls at the ready – Have a few balls under your arm to throw in if a ball goes out
  • Gear neatly placed and easily accessible

Set high expectations – reward & enforce them

  • Remind players of the expectations for training
    • Listen to the coach and follow directions the first time
    • Be respectful towards each other
    • Give 100% effort and have fun
  • Reward /praise / highlight players for good behaviour – “Catch them in”
  • Apply a warning system for poor behaviour
    • 2 Strikes = 5-minute Sin Bin

Gain their Attention

  • Everybody “STOP, LOOK & LISTEN”
  • Use a countdown to hurry players in “3…2…1”, last player must do a dance
  • Do not start speaking until everyone is listening and focused
  • Get down on their level – take a knee and get down to the players’ eye level when speaking to them for higher connection.


  • Play game-based practices with minimal interruptions
    • They will learn and understand by doing
  • Include competition elements in all practices, reward players with points / goals
  • Appropriately challenge individual players
    • “John for the next 3 minutes, try and get 2 assists”
    • Players who are misbehaving are using bored / overchallenged, therefore find the right challenge for them, and watch them become more engaged!
  • Appropriately challenge teams
    • “Green team, you are only allowed to take 3 touches for the next 3 minutes”
  • Coach players ‘on the run’, and avoid stopping practices / games
  • Give players ownership
    • Ask them questions and for their opinion
    • Picking up gear
    • Choosing progressions / conditions
    • Time to develop a quick team strategy during practices

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