Hey Everyone! This is probably one of my favorite topics. When I started my coaching journey 15 years a go, I was way more of a task driven coach and did not really care much for the relationships with players. As long as they showed up to training and worked I was happy. But during those first few years looking back I noticed that my players worked in hopes of getting a well done or pat on the back. They worked more out of fear of getting in trouble than they did for the love of the game and because they were working toward something. It took me a few years and I’m still learning every day. But, I make it a point to build relationships with my players and when they feel like you believe in them as more than just soccer players but you care for them as people, the gates are wide open for what they are willing to do for you and for the team. My favorite way of making this happen is my walk and talks, if players arrive early to training while I’m still setting up, I call one of them over and we talk about life, soccer, whatever maybe bothering them, all while I finish setting up training. Just those few minutes over the course of a season or two really add up and now the players get the feeling that I’m there for them as a person just as much as I am as a player.
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