Do you know what one of the most overlooked ingredients to successful coaching is? It’s the smile.
You could be the worst technical coach on this planet, but if you manage to smile and make your players smile, then all is forgiven.
Let’s back track a little.
Do you notice anything about the word “smile” apart from the fact that it’s a five letter word? Say the word smile with a little enthusiasm. Did you notice anything?
Did you notice the word smile brings and assumes the position of a smile on your face when you pronounce it? Try it again.
Soccer development can only take place in the right atmosphere. So how does a smile help your coaching or your soccer kids? In spite of its simplicity and spontaneity, a smile can make all the difference in the world. It helps develop a warm, friendly and loving atmosphere. Could your players benefit from this kind of atmosphere?
As a coach or even as a parent, if you have a miserable look about you or walk around with a frown, this also creates an atmosphere. An atmosphere created by frowning or being upset will inevitably create an atmosphere of conflict, hate and resentment.
So what kind of atmosphere do you want to create? Would you expose your children or players to a negative atmosphere? If you’re coaching kid’s soccer and cannot manage a smile, stop coaching. I don’t care if you think you’re the next Ferguson or Mourhino, you should not be involved in the game if you cannot manage a smile.
For those of you that smile and create a friendly atmosphere, I take my hat off and salute you. Good on you. Remember, a smile is contagious. When you smile at someone, the other person can’t help but smile back. Could this be beneficial to your training sessions?
So what does it cost to smile? It doesn’t cost a thing, maybe a few facial wrinkles at best. You cannot put a monetary value on a smile because it’s priceless. You can’t buy a smile can you? You give them away for free. So why aren’t you smiling?
So how would you describe a smile? To be honest, you can’t describe a smile with words. It’s more a gesture that is recognized all over the world as a greeting mechanism. Your smile should come naturally and from the heart.
When you’re coaching, parenting or supporting, do it with a smile. Try and wear a smile every minute of the day. If you can manage a smile during your training sessions
- The players will smile (reciprocity)
- The atmosphere will bring out the best in your players.
- Your players will enjoy the game and given every chance to excel.
- Will eliminate intimidation and fear.
- And will create unity and camaraderie.
Before I finish, I know you have a question for me.
“How can I smile when I’m overwhelmed with problems?”
Yes, it is difficult, but does frowning help? Does frowning take away all the problems?
Next time you step out to coach, play or watch soccer, promise me one thing. Forget about all your problems and smile. The time you spend at soccer with your kids should be just that. Enjoy it. Learn to smile every minute of the day and your team will reap the rewards.