Defining the Roles and Responsibilities of Your Coaches

Coaches with well-defined roles are more likely to develop a talented group of young players. This article highlights the importance of having clear roles and responsibilities.

Nov 5th 2021

Written by The Coaching Manual

Building an effective coaching team isn't just about hiring the best people. You could have the most talented coaches in the world, but without absolute clarity over their individual roles, they're unlikely to work well together.

Conversely, by taking the time to clearly define areas of responsibility, you can expect to reap the benefits of a coaching setup working toward a common goal - namely the successful development of players.

Benefits of assigning specific roles to your coaches:

In the history of professional football, there have been numerous instances of training ground disagreements and changing room dissent, often caused by a lack of clarity around the areas of responsibility.

Aside from reducing the opportunity for staff and player conflict, there are numerous benefits to giving coaches clear and define roles and responsibilities:

Stronger bond between coaches

If coaches understand their roles properly then there is a greater chance that of them working collaboratively.

For instance, an attacking coach and a defensive coach would want to work with one another in an attack v defence drill. However, it’s more difficult for two all-round coaches - with fewer clear cut responsibilities - to understand how to support each other.

As coaches continue to work and collaborate this often helps to develop stronger bonds. Coaches who work with others that have different skillsets and levels of experience not only does this help them to learn from each other but also helps to build trust.

Greater accountability over tasks

“If everyone is responsible, no one is responsible”

It may be an old business cliche but it does ring true in the coaching environment. Overarching tasks that could be performed by multiple employees are easily overlooked on the assumption that someone else will do it.

Unless your coaching staff understand exactly what's expected of them as individuals, you run the risk of important tasks being ignored through a lack of accountability. 

By clearly defining roles and responsibilities, you'll find it obvious when a coach has fallen short of expectations. From a more positive perspective, this also makes it easier for tasks to be assigned to the best person.

Clearer personal development pathways

Coaches should always want to grow in their role - take on responsibility in the future, work with different age groups, or coach different skills. And they’ll expect support from their Director of Coaching as they work towards this goal.

Setting these coaches clear targets and objectives whilst also holding regular performance evaluations is the best way of supporting them. If coaches already have a clear role and set of responsibilities then setting said targets becomes much easier.

Better chance of recruiting the right people

As obvious as it sounds, it becomes far easier for you to recruit the right coaches for your club if you have a clear understanding of the type of person you're looking for.

An elite-level soccer manager wouldn't ask their chairman or sporting director to "sign a midfielder"; instead they'd list the traits they were looking for in a player (high work rate, combative, excellent reader of the game, etc.). 

So why wouldn't you take the time to clearly define the role you're trying to fill before you start the recruitment process?

How do coaching responsibilities vary by player age group?

When it comes to defining roles and responsibilities, it's only natural to have areas of crossover between different coaches. They're all part of the same club, and they're all striving to get the most from their players.

However, for a job description to be realistic and helpful, it also needs to account for the unique elements and challenges of each role. 

Therefore, where it comes to coaching the different groups of players a coach's responsibilities will naturally vary depending on the age level. Understanding these differences will help when it comes to assigning your coaches to the best age group.

Coaching ages 5-8

Players within this age range are taking their first steps in the game. A good coach can instil these players with a life-long love for the game; a bad one may do the exact opposite. Enjoyment should therefore be at the heart of every training session, which requires an ability to think creatively and put these plans into action on the pitch.

This can be extremely challenging, which is why The Coaching Manual offers an extensive library of coaching sessions and practices perfect for this age group.

Coaching ages 9-12

At this age, kids are becoming increasingly comfortable with thinking for themselves and asking "why?". This is to be encouraged; it demonstrates their growing engagement with the beautiful game. 

Coaches should be developing season-long training plans that show clear development from week to week, allowing players to understand what they'll be learning next and how it'll help them. 

Check out our unique season planning tool which builds detailed and bespoke plans within a matter of minutes.

Also here are some sessions and practices relevant to this age group.

Coaching age 13+

As players get older, their knowledge and passion for the game continue to grow. This places a demand on coaches to keep a finger on the pulse of new trends and techniques within soccer. 

New training methods should be identified and adopted; new tactics should be experimented with and assessed. Here at The Coaching Manual, we offer a wealth of expert insight in the form of interviews, guides and articles. Use it to stay ahead of the curve and continue challenging your players.

Also here is are some sessions and practices relevant to this age group.

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