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Academy coaching profiles

This guest article is written by UEFA A guest writer Mario JoSkjermbilde 2018-09-07 kl. 23.06.55.pngvić. Mario is the head coach of Norwegian club Follo FK and a leader for a coach education initiative (Fotball Kompetansesenter) where they give Norwegian coaches a chance to learn from best practice environments or coaches. He has written a guest article about four coaching profiles used at some top academies.

If we would start with an analysis of some of the world’s coaches , looking to their profile we can noticed many of diversity in behavior, approach, training, talking to media, players, and even the style  of dressing which is certainly part of non-verbal communication with which coach can send messages to all in public.

With this I want to pay attention to choosing the wrong job  for coach from  the club management or coordinator  of  football school . It can have serious repercussions on the development of players when we speak about  working with younger players and the coach eventually.

I will try to divide coaches in 4 profile groups :







So let’s start with the coaches animators, who by their profile belonging to the development phase of 8-10 years.

Here begins the initial selection of players and it is certainly important that the coach has knowledge of functional-motorical development in order to make the best decision in the selection.

Coach at this age does not necessarily have to be a football expert with all the tactical knowledge and skills, much more important is that the profile of the trainer has a high level of social culture, evaluation of values and basic rules of behavior in a community or group of people.It is desirable knowledge of multilateral sports training where training consists not only of the specific football training but also the inclusion of other sports in a training unit with the purpose of multilateral motor and functional development.

Coach animator has to spread positive energy in comunication  with players of this age and allow players to independently  explore and make decisions in game situations.It must also be aware that the “total football” in this age does not exist !!

Most training are made in focus  to the basics in relation with the ball (control, basic techniques, coordination with the ball,individual tactic etc), the most common form of competition in 1v1 situations where coach animator should encourage creativity and self-confidence.In this age the children / players can not cope well with defeats.This coach has to pay attention to the organization of training to find a balance when it comes to the competition in the session game . (Do not let that one team has too much dominance,Dont set up all the best players in same team etc.)

It is certainly good that coach animator has experience as a football player to be able to demonstrate technical elements and give  better visual information, because it is the best way for children to learn at this age that .. “explain, demonstrate, control, correct, praise the effort”

The coach must be ready to lack of concentration by the player and must have a high level of tolerance and patience.

Some of the basic guidelines for the organization of training in this age group are:

  1. Start training with fun content
  2. Provide each player with the ball
  3. Avoid large lines of waiting  in the organization of exercises
  4. Create exercises where players attack and defend goal much is possible
  5. Finish training with fun content



Educators are coaches who we  should see most often in the age groups of players from 11 to 15 years where the emphasis is on education and specific training .This coach must have extensive knowledge in planning and programming and the organization of training process.Above  all the educator coach has to be high knowledgeable in all fields (pedagogy, communication, technical and tactical characteristics, psychology, kinesiology, theory training) and daily training activities and monitor the progress of the game as it is.Coach educator must understand the game and the role in order to determine the position of each player. Educator should not strive for the result as a final product ,but the process of development, mainly of players who can improve the game  will be a result .This coach must be open to dialogue and constructive criticism and be willing to abide by the model and methods of work in the club where he works .Educators are of great importance for the player and have that privilege and an obligation to create a stabil substruction in the development of an athlete / football  player who will serve for future upgrades.



This profile of coaches can be divided into several sub-profiles compared to their way of group management (autocratic, democratic …)

Certainly these are coaches who should be  identified and assigned from school coordinator to the age groups  from 16 to 18.19 years when is  more emphasis on result.This type of  coach is ambitious, tactically educated, the coach with enough years and allready defined personal style, attitude and beliefs about football in general.Coach  competitor must also be highly educated to know to manage the training process and identify possible obstacles in same.Communication  skills of this coaches should be at a high level as well as the psychology of working with this age group.Coach must set to the group common goals that are measurable and realistic according to the possibilities of the group, the same group must lead toward the goal , maintaining the motivation and desire of each player to contribute to the group on the way towards a common goal.

Coach competitor should know every player and try to find him a role  (not just position) in the group/team that the player could measure his own progress and contribution to the group. It is very important that the player knows his role and feels important “wheel”.

As a rule, the coach competitor is very ambitious, determined and with less empathy for the individuals and is focused more on the performance of the team.



Today we can find many specialist coaches in clubs, some of them have a role to work with the best individuals in order to provide increased attention to promising players.

Others like  goalkeeper coaches who are responsible for working with the goalkeepers within the team .Some clubs hire coaches specialists for analysis, while some coaches are specialists in technique, tactics, particular phase of the game, in physical preparation etc.More often profesional players  today hire private coaches to work with them with a view to individual development. Is  very important that these coaches have close contact and cooperation with the head coach of the team where player comes from, partly because of training periods and load and because of feedback that can be very important in the planning and programming of work.Mental coach is more and more prevalent in top sport where the coach specialist helps the player keep the highest level of performance as long as possible but also in cooperation with the rest of the coaching team preparing players for all emotional and mental challenges of the game.


Along with the four profiles is very important to note that every coach who  declared himself  as one of the four mentioned  profiles must be open to discussion with his future employer and give  clear  picture what are  his ambitions and where he see himself .The worst  possible option is to coach who is  for example Competitor be placed on position of Educator(11-15 years).On that way coordinator of youth school can make triple damage,for coach,club and players.





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