A coach wants to develop and progress. To learn and deepen his/her awareness. One way to do that is to read books about football, about coaches and how they work. When I recently read about a coach, I acquired clearer understanding about how he thinks. What’s most important, it got me thinking how I do things myself and what could I change in my own work. How can I develop, not just as a coach but as a human being as well? I would recommend gaining knowledge about other things as well as football. You should study human behavior and about how people operate and through this develop your own way of thinking. The broader the scope you search for information, the more you will understand that you don’t understand very much.
Forget how other people think about the game. Write down your own thoughts and ideas about football. Think hard and work the thoughts deeper and deeper. Which are your What?, Why? And When? Process this regularly and remember to question it. Challenge your thoughts and try to understand your own points of view. You’ll soon realize how multidimensional your thoughts are and how they have been influenced by a lot of different ideas. You could possibly see things that are very relevant to you and things that are less important. And through this you’ll find a basis for your own idea of how football should be played.
Transformation starts from yourself and your own way of thinking. It requires courage, because you will need to step out of your comfort zone. You will face plenty of obstacles on your way to reaching your goals. However, these obstacles are for your own development and reward. People who do things differently with an aim of transformation have always experienced resistance. Their unorthodox ways of working have raised questions, especially when people around have been reluctant to broaden their views and preferred to stay in their comfort zone. Your environment can be discouraging but it can act as a driving force as well.
Not everyone who has tried transformation has been successful at it. Partly because of the way they have presented their objectives. The presentation could have been aggressive and got the opponents on their toes. When presented ideas arrive from your personal opinions, opposition could become unbearable. The opposition would be easier to conquer if your opinions were based on objective facts. You would probably even have got positive outcomes instead of getting bitter. On the other hand, getting bitter is sort of an outcome in itself.
You have to be prepared for a long chain of events going through this process. Many things can be clear and self-explanatory for you but not necessarily for your audience. It may not always be the case that they don’t understand you, but they may have learned to do things a different way. Everyone has habits which are hard to change, if you first haven’t comprehended what to achieve with this transformation. Think about exercising or trying to lose weight. We know what we will win by exercising and losing weight but changing your habits could be almost impossible. What we have learned before sits deep inside us. Feelings of frustration and despair will become familiar for us. But you can possibly overcome these feelings with careful preparation. The less you give room for your own opinions the easier your conversation with other people will be. Reasoned arguments and objectivity are your best friends when trying to put your message across.
Coaches are a source of transformation. As you act based on your own words, people around you will begin to copy you, and the new way of doing things will become a habit. Leading by example is powerful. It is wordless and because of this it is so effective. When a coach himself/herself acts differently from his/her own instructions, the people around him/her will not be willing to change. Transformation will not progress. Change is difficult sometimes. However, it shouldn’t be impossible. And this concerns all things we do in our lives.