Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The jobs of state technical directors and club directors of coaching have many similarities. Here are a few tips about the job from some former club and state directors.
A successful director of coaching is innovative and very visible, reaching out to all levels of the game. A successful director of coaching connects the different levels of the game diplomatically, from recreation to the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program, helping each level to recognize their importance and the importance of the other levels.
Even though it has been said in many situations before, I believe that 'pick your battles' is a great tip for state technical directors. My advice is to think carefully and choose which issues really effect what should be your focus: coaching education and player development and selection. Let your board of directors do what they want on issues such as state budgets, player registration, office staffing, newsletters and many other such business related topics. I realize that some of these issues may impact your programs, but I suggest saving your voice for issues such as how players are being trained, coaching development, competition and player selection. When these important issues come up at board meetings, calmly remind the board why they hired you and then state your professional expertise as to what is best for the players and coaches you oversee.
The process for making the decision is as important as the decision itself. Involve critical parties in the decision making process.
Soccer people are everywhere. Passionate individuals and kids who care about the game deserve respect regardless of their title, position or background in the game. Reach out and involve anyone who desires a positive soccer experience for each individual player.
Someone once said that great things could be accomplished if you don't mind who gets the credit. Be sure to give others, including board members and volunteers, credit for their courage and initiative.
Be patient, educate, persuade and then stand your ground on the issues that truly matter.
Coaching directors must attempt to forge positive relationships with state executive board.
Embrace the fact that a director of coaching must be successful on several fronts: communication, organization, technical and dedication to the task.