Finding the balance: adaptation and revolution by Gerard Nus
December 5, 2013
When a coach arrives at a club, it is usually, in the vast majority of cases, to make changes and bring new ideas to a project that isn’t living up to its full potential.
It is important for the board to choose someone whose profile and football philosophy is in keeping with that of the club - this is fundamental to the project’s success.
Right from the start, the coach’s authority and responsibilities should be outlined and always taken into account when demanding results. There is a difference between clubs where coaches have the authority to tailor their squad, with new signings and transfers of players, and those where the coach only manages the day-to-day running of the team.
A coach’s reputation is his bread and butter - the recognition that he earns each season by meeting objectives, winning titles and earning sporting success. And with good results comes the chance to open up doors to new challenges.
Adapting to each new project and challenge is key to achieving success; no matter how successful a coach may have been in the past, they should always adapt to their new surroundings: different players, a new board of directors, pressure, resources, facilities, competitions, expectations, supporters - none of which are ever the same as the ones before.
The period from accepting to starting the new job is when the coach must establish his strategy, determine his new team’s needs and mark out his plan of action. When he wants to make important changes, he should be aware of the consequences they would bring; not all changes are well-received so it’s vital to know what is required and act accordingly, in other words: adapt.
We can’t forget that the most important components in football are the players that make up the team and we as coaches should adapt to their world. They need a coach to lead them, but also give them that special something they need to win, sometimes they need to feel pressure to get the most out of them. We coaches often lose sight of the players’ needs and instead act according to what we feel.
The revolution that comes about with the signing of a new coach is related to many factors. The coach wants to surround himself with people he can trust to assist him with the daily pressures of the job, that’s why it is no surprise to see a coach sign players and assistant coaches who they have worked with in previous seasons. This also improves efficiency and productivity since everybody knows what the coach wants and how they like to work.
The fine line: coaching abroad
Coaches who are fortunate enough to have the chance to work abroad should be aware of their special circumstances: these coaches know that they were signed in order to bring that special factor that characterises them as a coach.
However, they should always bear in mind that another country means another culture, so certain customs should be assumed and respected; it’s a fine line and one that is difficult to cross, between staying faithful to their own thoughts and ideas and those of their new surroundings.
Settling into a foreign club is always easier when there is a native on hand to explain a bit about the people of that region or country, how they think and act. The further away you are from your home town the greater the differences, and therefore, the more difficult it may be to adapt.