Author Archive: Ida Allen

Coaching and Motivation – Mental Misunderstood Matter

Motivation is something some coaches talk about, others read up about it, some try to master it and learn all its secrets, motivation is what everyone believes is what get athletes to achieve what is otherwise impossible. This search to find motivational success gets some to spend large amounts of cash on motivational speakers with their goal being to motivate their team of athletes. There are also several coursed to attend, workshops are available and all claim to teach the skill needed to master the mysteries of motivation.

Understanding the Concept of Motivation


No matter the amount you spend, the more desperate you are to master motivation the less you’ll be able to understand it. First of all, you need to know what motivation is, it is a desire, basically, a fire that ignites outstanding victories fuels great performances, and drive persistence and perseverance. Motivation is what gives athletes a winning attitude, it’s the basic of mental-toughness, the character and strength that empowers athletes to overcome setbacks, injuries and disappointments, the cornerstone of success.

The Magic Pill/Miracle

Coaches often think of motivation as a miracle or a pill, a technique or breakthrough, yet it is so much simpler and so much more powerful.
Motivation starts with you the coach, it is fuelled by your desire to be a better coach, to be someone your athletes can trust, relate to and want to win for.

Difference between Inspiration and Motivation

Motivational speakers talking about success, glory and money is what most people think off as motivation, although it is actually an inspiration. Motivation and inspiration work hand in hand together to inspire people to change their behaviours in order to realise a dream. Inspiration comes to the outside from the speaker to another person while motivation comes from within, it is ignited by passion.

Sports Coaching Motivation


In order to motivate the team, a sports coach need to provide opportunity and create an environment for athletes to express their true motivation in everything they do. The coach is there to support, encourage and to help athletes to discover their passion. Athletes that are motivated stand out, they attend every practice, arrive early and are eager to help set up the equipment. They always willing to help clean up afterwards and if coaches allow it, motivation will express itself.

Motivation does not come from providing high enthusiasm, or high energy or always talking about psyching-up, it is providing an environment where athletes feel free to show how motivated they are. It is feeling safe in an environment where the coach understands the wishes of each athlete, the will to achieve, the disappointment when it takes a bit longer and knowing they have the space to enjoy their strengths and work on their weaknesses. An environment where no one is ever judged, only the doorway to bigger things achieved via practising and the identification of areas that needs the most attention.

Developing Mentally Strong Athletes

Being labelled as mentally tough is the highest compliment any athlete can receive, mental toughness is not a quality that individuals are born with it, it is an attitude that must be learned or adapted, a positive mindset that changes perspective and increases production. The most influential or ideal people to help and teach young athletes to develop this special talent, philosophy or ability are parents and coaches. It is a balance between ability, tolerating setbacks and staying mentally strong. Most coaches call it a priceless gift that influences the athlete’s whole life and not just his attitude towards his sports career.

Sports are Fun

There are a few specific outlooks or attitudes that should be communicated to younger athletes; the first and most important of those is that sports are fun. Whether a match results in a win or a loss the match itself remains a fun activity enjoyed with the rest of the team. Every teammate or athlete should enjoy every second of participation and the most important thing to imprint in young athletes’ mindsets is that winning is not a measure of enjoyment.

That Worth Achieving Rarely Comes Easy

The process of achieving mastery is challenging, long and often requires commitment, hours of practice and exercise, as well as a positive “, can do” attitude. The coach famed for leading the Green Bay Packers to victory, Vince Lombardi, often refers to the saying that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. The price of success is hard work. To master any sport requires practice, more practice and them some practice.

Mistakes Are a Vital Part of Mastering any Sport

Whether in life or sport, mistakes are a vital part of learning, without them we won’t learn as fast or a much, legendary UCLA coach, John Wooden sees mistakes as the stepping stones to success and achievement. It is important that coaches emphasise to athletes that making mistakes is better than avoiding the opportunity to shine, they are performance enhancements and shows where improvement and adjustment are needed. There is only one mistake in sports and life, and that is the failure to learn from our experiences.

What Really Counts is Effort

Highly successful coaching includes praise and emphasis on both efforts and the outcome, repeatedly communicating to athletes that their efforts are as important as the outcome is vitally important in motivating teams. Youngsters react on both their coaches’ words and actions, and therefore all efforts should be acknowledged in the same important light as winning results are.

Worth Should Never Be Confused with Performance

Young athletes should be sure of the fact that their performance in sport or their academic performances is not what identify their worth. Coaches play an important role as they should show athletes that they accept all unconditionally no matter the result, the effort and being part of the team is always acknowledged. By showing young athletes that even the coach has failures and mistakes, which he/she gracefully accepts, teach young children that everyone is fallible humans and that we move past mistakes to reach new heights via the lessons we learned from it.

Fun & Engaging Coaching Sessions are an Artform

Coaching made fun is what everyone wants it to be, yet it is a bit harder than most think. You need to provide an environment in which players want to be, but at the same time you need to train them to do their best and to achieve all this requires a few pointers, so here is what the experts say.

Enjoyable Sport Coaching


It all starts by asking a few questions, during training you need to answer whether you think it is fun and if the players enjoy the session. You also need to answer the question that should you have been part of the session would you enjoy it, basically the coach needs to step into the shoes of the trainees. If the answer on any one of the above questions is negative, the next question would be how to change it. By coaching younger children, it is much easier to bring an element of fun into the training session, where it could be a bit more challenging when the team is older. Yet the fun element is almost naturally part when the group are familiar with each other and comfortable in the company of the entire team.

Team Challenges

Primary school aged sports coaching is ideal for bringing in little friendly challenges, this is to get the initiative going on how to succeed in every session, it helps develop the physical skills of the team. Many coaches use this technique to identify natural leaders who thrive when it comes to both the psychological and decision-making aspects of the sport. Coaching includes identifying what type of player each of the participants is and then to place them in an environment where they feel slightly challenged, just enough to keep them interested in the sport but at the same time to make them feel needed and comfortable.

Let it Flow During Practise

It is always best not to overdue structured training, by staying away from drills it could be a lot easier to implement a natural flow. Before practice starts in full swing allow players to have some free time interacting with each other and the ball. It is also a great time to have a quick joke or two going as it sets the tone for the remainder of the training session. Discuss something of interest and make sure everyone is comfy before the session starts in all seriousness, and at the end discuss the session and get their opinion.

Team Interaction is Most Important

More vital than any planning of the training is to provide players with a session that is engaging and that increase interaction amongst the team and you. It is vital that the coach get to know each of the players individually and the more the team interact, the better they will know each other. Everyone should know mistakes will happen, they good as it gives you and the team reason to brainstorm together about you will eliminate these from happening during matches.

Coaching Young Children

One of the mentality epidemics that most multi-skilled coaches are eager to change is the “I Can’t Do” attitudes of society. Training, coaching and directing young children towards a “Can Do” attitude is what most aims for and sport coaching opens-up the opportunity to do just that.

There is a major danger that young children will struggle to catch-up, be left only on the starting blocks or will be completely lost from the enjoyment of sports altogether. This is only one of the areas where school have a major role to play, teachers have access to every single child in the country and it is here where the foundation of any strong nation can be built, it is like doing all the preparation, laying the strongest possible foundation to build a strong house that will be rock solid through life.

Sports Couches Supply Young Children with Fundamental Building Blocks

In the sports world, the most important people are coaches who are perfectly placed to offer their proteges with everything needed and they are the ones laying the fundamental building blocks, it is here where sports stars get the kick needed to reach their full potential. What leads to longer-term success and ability is multi-skill upbringing. Essentials to the upbringing of young children are travelling, stability, catching a ball and throwing balls. By allowing younger children to develop a range of skills, it improves their balance and coordination, speed and stamina, flexibility and agility as well as their power and strength. It readies them for a life in sports, improves their performances and at the same time, it influences the choices they make in the future.

It is a “Can Do” Attitude that Changes All

Sports coaches agree that the above skill-development is vital, yet what makes everything possible is a “Can Do” attitude. If young children believe they can do anything they are more open to try anything, which includes sports, academic achievements and how they approach their futures. Developing a positive mindset changes all, it makes it easier to get a new idea across and it provides the young child to look forward to learning new skills such as jumping, catching and throwing. Due to the variety of electronic entertainment available, young people quickly get caught up in games that gives them the feel of achievement, should they feel positive about themselves from an early age and learn how to use their physical skills, chances are they will never exchange the social aspect of sports and the great outdoors to hide indoors with a video game.

No Feeling is as Good as Being Outdoors, Partaking in an Action Sport

Coaches want younger children to get hooked on the high only sports can provide, since once they get accustomed to the feeling there is nothing to top it. Many younger athletes have a fear of rackets, how to use balls and by being open-minded they can master all these skills quickly and become the self-assured young people they ought to be.

Longest Serving Football Managers – 19 Years to 25 Years

The twelve football managers that make the longest-serving list in European history includes club managers that served from around nineteen years up to well over forty years, and these sports heroes include the following.

At the end of the season, Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger will retire after spending 22 years as their club manager. The dramatic decision was made by the Frenchman on Friday the 20th of April, leaving the club scrambling to find a suitable successor. Wenger is the longest-serving manager of the Arsenal club, although when it comes to the history of European football UEFA rankings, he is not by far the longest serving club manager. According to the UEFA ranking, the shortest tenure on the list is managers in service for at least nineteen years, while the longest service is 44 years.

Several of the football managers have won numerous trophies during their reigns, others are famed for building incredible teams, and when you look down the list, each of the twelve manages have unique qualities and have contributed a great deal towards football.

Vittorio Pozzo


Vittorio Pozzo served as manager from 1929 up to 1948 and during his 19-year reign lifted no less than two World Cups as the took Italy all the way in both 1934 and again in 1938. Pozzo is considered the pioneer of tactical play and was one of the first to suggest pre-match training camps for players requesting to be part of a team consisting of a group of men that are mentally and physically strong.

Valeriy Lobanovskiy


In total Valeriy Lobanovskiy managed for 19 years which includes from 1974 to 1982, then again from 1984 to 1990 and his last reign was from 1997 to 2002. His coaching experience includes managing teams as diverse as Ukraine, Kuwait, UAE and the Soviet Union, yet Lobanovskiy is known to most for coaching, Dynamo Kyiv, the Ukrainian Premier League club, which he guided towards winning thirteen titles, and he earned the title as the coach with the most disciplined and scientific approach.

Juan Santisteban


Juan Santisteban first played for Real Madrid in the 60s and then in 1988 became the manager of the legendary club. Santisteban remained in charge until 2008 during which Real Madrid won six European titles, and some of the players were not even born yet when he took over as manager.

Arsene Wenger


Arsene Wenger is one of the Premier League era giants and his 22 years with Arsenal started in 1996. He has guided Arsenal to seven FA cups and three Premiership titles, before announcing his decision to quit in 2018, after building a twenty-two-year relationship with the team. Wenger, according to Thierry Henry the formal Arsenal striker’s legacy is untouchable.

Francky Dury


Francky Dury’s 25 years started in 1990 up to 1993, then again form 1994 up to 2001, 1001 to 2010 and again in 2012. In the 90s he managed Zultse VV in Belgian, which he is still managing today, he never left his “day job” until the UEFA cup in 2006.

The Habits of Highly Effective Coaching

The great philosopher Aristotle once stated, “We are what we do repeatedly. Therefore, excellence is not an act but merely a habit”. With that being the case, what exactly are the habits of highly effective coaching? What are the factors that sensational coaches do every single day to make them so great?

1. Make training more demanding and more challenging than the competition the athletes are targeting.

World-class coaches are well aware that competition is the last place to find out where the athletes mental and physical limits are. It’s for this reason that training needs to be more demanding and more challenging, emotionally, tactically, technically, mentally, and physically than the competition the athlete is preparing for.

2. Develop and learn as a coach at a faster pace than the athlete.

Renowned coaches quickly realise that success is all about a moving target and that the primary goal is to stay relevant by committing to continuous improvement, honest professional and personal evaluation, and life-long learning.

3. Accelerate the rate of learning in a quicker time frame than your opposition.

The introduction of the internet has insured that there’s no longer any secrets in the world of sport. This means that everyone essentially knows what you know and anyone can obtain anything at anytime from anywhere and its absolutely free. Learning something new everyday is what everyone is doing and phenomenal coaches are aware of this and always strive to accelerate their learning curve in a quicker manner than their opposition.

4. Enhance your thinking skills creatively

Creativity is the key difference between being a good coach and a phenomenal coach. A good coach can easily follow a program, while phenomenal coaches invent them. This allows coaches to create new ideas and new directions which will completely change the sport. Always remember that copying kills and if you decide to follow others or simply duplicate their success, it will eventually turn into a recipe for disaster.

5. Embark on individual coaching

Every significant moment in a sporting event, regardless of the sport, is person on person. There’s no more true team sporting events left. With performance analysis calculating at fractions of seconds and millimetres, every athlete’s weaknesses and strengths are known by the opposition. World-class coaches constantly engage with athletes by inspiring them. To successfully inspire them, they prepare the athlete with passion and help them realise their full potential.

6. Ensure every athlete prepares themselves in every aspect for the opposition.

The days of winning a game or match by having the fittest athlete are long gone. Sport is considered so multi-dimensional that victory stems from being the very best in every possible aspect, including nutrition, travel management, sleep, gym-training, recovery, attitude, skills, preparation, training, etc. World-class coaches are well aware of this fact and always strive to develop winning environments.

7. Adapt your training programs and plans to optimise the impact of each athlete at each and every training session.

The world’s best coaches plan meticulously and with remarkable attention to detail. However, they also fully understand that the primary goal is to ensure the training session offers optimal opportunities for the athletes to be fully prepared.

Legendary Coaching Philosophies

Real leaders inspire their players to better their performance through a philosophy, we look at the principles of the greatest. Phenomenal couches are logicians, thinkers, and philosophers, embracing and developing ideologies that ensure they are more effective at crafting winning team cultures one season after the other. The all-time greats are coaches that successfully ingrain their own philosophy into their players, and they are the ones who leave behind legacies to remember. From embracing focussing to meditation, the fundamentals hone consistent and a clear worldview that inspires and empowers players to constantly perform at their very best.

Phil Jackson Coach of the Chicago Bulls


Jackson was an avid practitioner of meditation since he read the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, not long after he started leading meditational groups, campaigning selflessness, compassion and mindfulness. His mediation assisted him in leading the team to win no less than eleven NBA championships. Jackson noted that the goal of meditation was to strengthen the muscles of the mind, athletes could learn to centre and focus themselves, leaving only that required to perform at their very best. One of his techniques was to have players sit still in practice, his way of teaching them where their shoulders should be, how to hold their hands as well as the complete process of being in upright situations and the team bought into it.

Bill Belichick Head Coach of the Patriots


Winning fourteen seasons one after the other was Belichick’s legacy, do your job was his philosophy. His training was all about showing players the art of focus only on that they could control, their output, their performance. Everything else was to be ignored as it was just noise. In today’s fast-passed, hyper-connected environment getting distracted is easy. Ultimately the best performers in sports are those able to concentrate on their own responsibilities, it’s a matter of own your tasks or work and to embrace the clarity of it.

John Wooden Head Coach UCLA

Wooden had only a trio of rules, don’t make excuses, don’t complain and never whine only do your best. Keep moving forward even when things go wrong, don’t stop to complain or blame it only slows you down.

Mike Krzyzewski Head Coach Duke Basketball

Krzyzewski’s remarkable record is credited to his philosophy of next play. His belief is that not all is about what happened, that is the biggest mistake anyone can make, it’s never about the success you had before, it is always about the next play, the next thing you are planning to do, that way you can never fall behind.

Bill Walsh Head Coach San Francisco


The Score Takes Care of Itself became a hit written by Walsh, in it, he explains in detail the concept of success. In advance of a game he wrote down every possible play for every situation, it gave him the confidence that he could execute any of it under pressure. Hard work is making decisions, always focus on the best outcome while being fully prepared for the worst.

Women versus Men Coaching

Many have asked this question. This is one that has crossed the mind of many sports enthusiast but is there any major differences when it comes to men coaching versus women who coach sports. It is a controversial topic one that can unleash hours of constructive disagreement and dialogue, yet it also a topic that needs to be explored.

Coachability Female vs Male

This is where sportsmen need to take a step back as women tend to be more coachable and more adaptable than males. Many sports coaches agree that female athletes accept new techniques easier and are especially open to anything that boosts performance. When it comes to respect females give their coaches a lot of respect instead of making their coach prove credibility, they are also far more appreciative and express their gratitude more willingly. It is female athletes that strive to impress their coaches and is much easier motivated.

Sportsmen are convinced of their ability, which makes them less coachable. Male athletes feel they know the sport as well as their own power and often dismisses what coaches suggests and at times question the coach’s credibility, so often male coaches need to prove themselves. It is not unheard of that male athlete’s brace against the coach, but to be fair, it also depends on the coaching approach, in case a coercive style is used it is known that male athletes will seek ways to prove the coach wrong, in the same situation female athletes shut down. But then again coercive coaching in many instances can yield desired short-term results.

Male vs Female Confidence

For any athlete confidence is critical, and both women and male can struggle with it, although it seems woman struggle most with it, and have a tough time even when they become elite athletes. While confidence in male athletes almost comes naturally as men are taught toughness and confidence from an early age.

How Male vs Female Athletes Handle Criticism

Male athletes depersonalise criticism in general, which forces coaches to be more specific and once sportsmen realise the criticism is directed at them they tend to fight it. Females always think the criticism is aimed at them, even when it is not, and they are a lot more sensitive to all comments made by the coach. It is probably in criticism where the biggest difference between male/female coaching is visible and even during matches females takes any loud tones or blunt language from the opposition as a personal attack.

Female/Male Athlete Chemistry

In both genders, chemistry is majorly important although it is again even more so for females. Each of the female athletes wants to feel connected to everyone on the team, while male athletes are less concerned about chemistry. This demands that coaches of female athletes are sensitive to the team’s social cohesion, while male coaches need to focus on task cohesion and making sure everyone is committed to the same goal, embraces their roles and are on the same page.

Mental Health Action Plan Improves Elite Athlete Support

A new mental health action plan was recently unveiled by the UK Government, its aim is to improve the support available to elite sportsmen and women. Due to the new action plan both support staff and coaches will receive additional training to identify the signs of mental health problems in athletes.The new mental health strategy will improve awareness as well as promote the mental wellbeing of athletes while at the same time provide the National Governing Bodies with the information needed to properly access clinical and sports psychologists. Elite sports must by 2024 implement the mental health procedures as part of its performance plans as well as offer all athlete’s clear pathways to access the assistance they need via professional mental health support.

Athletes funded by the National Lottery will also be encouraged to make use of the action plan by visiting mental health units to help break down and improve the stigma around mental health. Part of the plan is also to embed good mental health practice at the grassroots level. Should Sports England succeed with ingraining mental wellbeing via a strategy that includes teaching mental health welfare alongside athlete physical training it could change sports around the globe?

Could Mental Health Action Have Impact Worldwide

Developed by the Minister who also hosted roundtable a year ago, one with the elite athletes across all aspects of British sport and the other with mental health organisations, the conclusion was that an action plan could improve the support available to elite sports stars.

Civil Society and Sports Minister, Tracy Crouch shared that sport has a positive impact on individuals mental health, it is when a sport is your main income and thousands of fans depend on your performance, the enormous pressure athletes are under to succeed, can become too much. The action plan sees mental health and sports organisations work closely together to provide athletes with the correct support well in advance and before the situation reach crisis point.

First Ever Mental Health Action Plan for Elite Sports Professionals

The Chief Executive of Mind, Paul Farmer feels that the mental health action plan is an important step in ensuring that elite athlete can easily access support and help for their mental health, clear objectives are set in the plan. He also shared his delight that both Civil Society and the Minister of Sport is actively involved in the action plan. In the UK, and probably worldwide, one in four are affected by a mental health problem and professional sportswoman and men are no different. There has been an increase in sportspeople coming forward to reveal mental problems such as anxiety and depression, which confirmed the urgent need for an action plan. Still, no one knows how many athletes are still struggling in silence even though more and more are speaking out and asking for help regarding their mental health problems. The first step is to offer elite athletes a safe-haven to discuss any symptoms at an early as possible stage, to then enjoy the care and attention needed and to get the situation under control.

Selecting A Sports Coach Who Rises Above All

Choosing just one of the greatest sports coaches of all time is a massive task no matter which sport you’re passionate about, and when the New York Times tried to select one, it failed as they halted their search once these names came up. It’s impossible since how do you choose when the names include the NFL star Vince Lombardi, College football super-star Larry Kehres, Scotty Bowman a master in hockey coaching, tennis’s Richard Williams, soccer’s Alex Ferguson, and then still need to add College basketball’s Pat Simmitt.

Alex Ferguson Did Remarkable Things for Soccer


Long before Alex Ferguson became a household name or started filling up the trophy case of Manchester United, he was already doing remarkable things for Scotland’s St. Mirren team as a soccer coach. As he took over the running of the club in 1974, by 1977, he led the team to a title win in the first division only one rung below that of the top league.

Ferguson moved to Aberdeen by 1979, which was a respected club in Scotland but hardly the match for the perennial powers of the Rangers or Celtic. By 1983 he achieved astonishing results by leading Aberdeen to its first European title over Real Madrid as his team claimed the Winners’ Cup the powerhouse of Spain. Just with the list of achievements mentioned up to now, it makes for an illustrious career in sports coaching. Yet for Ferguson, it was never enough, and he went on to do remarkable things for the mighty Manchester United team during his twenty-seven years at the helm. Ferguson retired at age 76 as the manager of Manchester United and during his years pushed the team to win thirty-eight trophies.

Sir Alex Ferguson

It is easy to vote for Ferguson when it comes to the greatest manager and greatest coach in history as he not only qualifies in soccer but also in any other sport on any continent. In 1999 Alex Ferguson was knighted and became Sir Alex Ferguson, it was also the year in which he famously won the Champions League, FA Cup and Premier League.

When it comes to Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United Trophies you start understanding the real impact he had on the powerful team.

• Premier League Trophies:
• 2013, 2011 2009, 2008, 2007, 2003, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1996, 1994 and 1993
• FA Cup Trophies: 2004, 1999, 1996, 1994, 1990
• League Cup Trophies: 2010, 2009, 2006, 1992
• Champion League Trophies: 2008, 1999
• Cup Winners Cup Trophy: 1991
• UEFA Super Cup Trophy: 1992
• FIFA Club World Cup Trophy: 2008
• Inter-Continental Cup Trophy: 1999
• FA Charity & Community Shield:
• 1011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2003, 1997, 1994, 1993 (shared)

Sir Ferguson’s playing career started when he made his debut as a 16-year-old striker with Queen’s Park. According to him, the first match was an absolute nightmare, although he scored a goal in the 2-1 defeat against the Stranraer’s. He went on to score 20 goals in 31 games for his very first team.