Author Archive: Ida Allen

Ranking the Best Managers in the MLB

The MLB season is well underway, and head coaches across the league are devouring stat sheets and scouting reports, screaming for sacrifice bunts, watching pitch counts, and creating double switches to claim victories. The role of MLB managers is a significant one and its for this very reason that we decided to list the best MLB managers that are currently in the league.

Chicago Cubs – Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon utilises the out-of-the-box approach when it comes to his job and uses the talent he has in a very creative way to increase the overall performance of his team. This strategy has assisted him in transforming the Tampa Bay Rays from a devastating expansion franchise into a phenomenal contender within the American League. Since he joined the Chicago Cubs, he has assisted the team in winning more games than ever before, allowing him to claim the Manager of the Year award in the process.

San Francisco Giants – Bruce Bochy

Bruce Bochy is undoubtedly a Hall of Famer when he eventually decides to retire. He boasts with more World Series titles than any other baseball manager that is currently on the pitch, and he has also been with San Francisco for a little over a decade now. Before he decided to join the San Francisco Giants, this incredible manager managed to win 3 West titles in only 12 years. Bochy’s strategy has always been to do more with less even though he has loads of talent at his disposal.

Cleveland Indians – Terry Francona

When Francona was the manager of the Phillies between 1997 and 2000, he endured four losing seasons. However, he managed to earn a reputation as the best manager in baseball when it came to the Red Sox. During his first season with the Red Sox, he managed to break one of the most extended standing curses of the franchise when he led the team to the World Series since 1918. He also managed to lead Cleveland to their first playoff appearance and winning season in 6 years.

Baltimore Orioles – Buck Showalter

Showalter has managed to create success in every stop he has made as a manager, allowing him to earn the Manager of the Year award with three different MLB clubs while winning 100 games in 1999 with the Diamondbacks. During his time in Baltimore, he assisted the team in breaking a 14 season losing streak with an incredible 93-victory campaign during 2012 along with a postseason trip. The team hasn’t experienced a losing season since that occurred.

Pittsburgh Pirates – Clint Hurdle

Hurdle is considered an old-school baseball manager at heart and has changed more over the last couple of years than any other baseball manager. Since he joined the Pirates, he has allowed the team to make three successive trips to the playoffs. Hurdle is considered one of the top 5 managers due to his enormous success with Colorado and Pittsburgh combined with his strong presence at each of the clubs he has joined over the years.

Ranking the Top NHL Coaches in 2019

Fans and supporters of the NHL always seem to focus on the players, the wins, and which team reaches the playoffs. However, only a handful of them will look behind the scenes at the head coaches that lead each club. It’s for this reason that we decided to take a look at the current NHL head coaches and rank them from best to worst in the 2018/19 NHL season.

Chicago Blackhawks

Joel Quenneville undoubtedly runs away with the number 1 spot as he ranks second in all-time wins and boasts with 3 Stanley Cups in only 6 NHL seasons. Even though Chicago is pillaged annually by salary cap restrictions, Quenneville has managed to build a dynasty for himself and his team, impressing with several All-Stars in his squad.

Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals have managed to transition from a one-dimensional threat to a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference thanks to the system implementation of Barry Trotz. The Capitals provide a phenomenally deep line-up in every game, and the priorities that are currently in place by the Jack Adams winner has managed to pay dividends from the bottom to the top.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Through everything that the Tampa Bay Lightning team has endured over the years, Jon Cooper has managed to stay on course with two consecutive playoff runs. Although Steve Yzerman holds the keys, Jon Cooper does a fantastic job at running the bench.

Los Angeles Kings

There’s no denying that Darryl Sutter is considered a man of few words. However, with 2 Stanley Cups in the trophy cabinet since 2012, he doesn’t need to say much as that alone speaks volumes. Along with Dean Lombardi as General Manager, Sutter has managed to build a long-lasting contender when it comes to Southern California.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Even though the team of Mike Babcock finished in the last place, he still managed to make a significant impact on the overall system used by the Maple Leafs. His prestigious resume will undoubtedly get him into the Hall of Fame. However, grooming Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs into NHL superstars is the current task at hand.

Dallas Stars

When Lindy Ruff gets 12 more victories under the belt, he will finally move into the fifth position on the all-time list. Also, with a Central Division title, the Dallas Stars have managed to become a severe threat in the West thanks to the 18-year veteran running the show. The Dallas Stars have the most potent offence in the NHL. However, finding the perfect way to extrapolate the ultimate performances will determine the fate of the Stars.

Nashville Predators

Peter Laviolette is a seasoned veteran when he is behind the bench as each of his teams are always extremely difficult on opponents. He has managed to bring the Predators to the playoffs during both seasons at Nashville, and thanks to P.K. Subban, the Predators are now considered a serious contender for the cup in Music City.

The Greatest Coaches Currently in the NBA

When most think of the National Basketball League, they think of superstars and teams. Superstars like Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James as well as organisations such as the Bulls, Lakers, Celtics, and Knicks. However, most of the success that players and teams experience is due to superior coaching. Today, the NBA comprises of several coaches that are considered the best in the world. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the greatest coaches that are currently in the NBA.

Gregg Popovich

When you think about the best coaches in the history of the league, names like Pat Riley, Red Auerbach, and Phil Jackson come to mind. However, Popovich should be among this phenomenal group of coaches. Since 1997, there hasn’t been a team within North America with a higher winning percentage. Popovich is also tied for third place with Larry Brown for all time playoff wins. He has been the coach for the San Antonio Spurs since 1996 and was voted coach of the year in 2003.

Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers has been the head coach for the Boston Celtics since 2004. Similar to Rick Carlisle and Tom Thibodeau, Doc Rivers managed to win the Coach of the Year award during his first year with the Boston Celtics. Just like the other two coaches, he is also renowned for having solid defensive teams. Rivers has also been able to mix loads of dynamic personalities within his cohesive unit. Although the Boston Celtics aren’t as dominant as they were a few years back when it comes to defence, he consistently produces winning teams.

Rick Carlisle

Like Doc Rivers, Rick Carlisle managed to win the Coach of the Year award during his first year with the Detroit Pistons. Due to his team management issues a year later, he was fired. In 2004, he managed to lead the Indiana Pacers to the best record in the league and established the best defensive team in the process. In 2008, Carlisle joined the Dallas Mavericks as the head coach and took the team to their first championship in 2011. He can make the team win yet another championship in the next two years if his team can stay healthy and intact.

Mike Brown

To be the best, you have to train the best. This is precisely where Brown had a significant advantage when compared to other coaches as he had the opportunity to work for the Spurs as an assistant coach while getting mentored by none other than Gregg Popovich. After he was an Indiana Pacers assistant coach, Mike Brown became the Cleveland Cavaliers head coach in 2005. Although the Cavaliers fell short of the 2007 NBA finals, he still proved to be the best coach when it comes to defence in the league. He is currently the head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers who are dominating the league due to his coaching skills and abilities.

The Best Assistant Coaches in the Premier League

Everyone is always focused on the Premier League managers and their strategies behind every game. However, we rarely receive any updates or news regarding their assistant managers. It’s for this very reason that we decided to take a look at the best assistant managers in the Premier League. Telling you what they do and who they are for the biggest teams in the league.

Juan Carlos Carcedo – Arsenal

Simply referred to as Carlos, the Spaniard, who is currently 45 years of age, is building an excellent relationship with players in Arsenal. Even though he doesn’t shy away from constant confrontation. Animated and fiery, if he feels that there is something worth saying, he will undoubtedly say it. He has been Unai Emery’s assistant at six clubs, including PSG, Sevilla, Spartak Moscow, Valencia, and Almeria.

Gianfranco Zola – Chelsea

Luca Gotti and Zola are both assistants for first-team coaches. Gotti as from Bologna, while the reputation of Zola precedes him as he has been voted the most significant player for Chelsea as well as a former England manager. Zola provides support and takes the likes of Ross Barkley, Willian, Pedro, and Eden Hazard for attacking drills. Zola is also considered the bridge between Chelsea players and Sarri, speaking with the team.

Peter Krawietz/Pepijn Lijnders – Liverpool

Zeljko Buvac is the official first assistant coach for Liverpool, even though his 17-year career as ‘the brain’ ended within days before the semi-finals against Roma in the Champions League. Lijnders made his return to Liverpool this summer after a 5-month spell where he was in charge of NEC Eindhoven. Even though he is currently title-less, the former Porto and PSV Eindhoven academy coach collaborates next to Krawietz, a former analyst for Dortmund and former chief scout for Mainz. The training sessions are led by Klopp, while Lijnders and Krawietz take care of daily tactical meetings.

Mikel Arteta – Manchester City

The Spaniard played a crucial role in the Manchester City transformation from third place during the 2016/17 season to record champions last season due to his willingness to provide his take on strategy and tactics. Mikel Arteta is also the bridge between the players and the manager. He is also a prevalent figure in and around the club. When he was doing media duties during the Lyon Champions League in September. This is where the team was defeated, and he was honest, stating that City wasn’t very consistent.

Michael Carrick – Manchester United

Once Rui Faria left in the summer, after 17 years as the assistant coach for Jose Mourinho, the manager declared that he no longer needed a number 2. However, he did state that Michael Carrick would eventually fill the assistant manager role. Even though you will usually see him on the pitch talking to the head coach. No one is quite clear how much pull he has as an assistant coach for Manchester United. However, things have certainly changed since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived at Old Trafford.

New Head Coach Positions in the NFL

What’s next in the coaching carousel when it comes to the NFL? Well, we decided to provide you with everything we know about the hiring-and-firing movement this season, along with brand-new head coaches that will make a significant change in the 2019/20 NFL season.

New York Jets

The New York Jets look like they are hiring Adam Gase as their new head coach, according to several sources. The Jets decided to reach our to Gase shortly after he was fired on 31 December by the Dolphins. He only achieved 23-25 in a total of three seasons but managed to dominate the New York Jets where he won 5 of 6 meetings. Gase will become the team’s first head coach since 1997 with head-coaching experience within the NFL.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns are going to hire Freddie Kitchens as the next head coach for the team. Kitchens managed to earn the job thanks to his unbelievable work as offensive coordinator during the last eight matches of the 2018 season, as well as his development and relationship with Baker Mayfield. The Browns didn’t want to lose Kitchens and denied him permission to discuss openings as an offensive coordinator with other teams.

Denver Broncos

The Broncos have managed to reach an agreement with Vic Fangio to become the next coach for the team. He was previously the defensive coordinator for the Bears. Fangio is going to receive a 4-year contract with Denver, including a group opening for the 5th year. Fangio was interviewed for the head-coaching job with the Bears during the last offseason.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers will be hiring Bruce Arians as the next coach for the team. Arians, who managed to retire for coaching the Cardinals following the 2017 season, has spent his time as a game analyst for CBS during the 2018 NFL season. He will reunite Jason Licht as the general manager for the Buccaneers and Jameis Winston as the team’s quarterback. He attended several of Arians’ football camps in Alabama during his youth.

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals will be hiring Kliff Kingsbury as their next coach, who was previously the technical coach for the Houston Texans. Kingsbury, who is currently 39 years old. He will be replacing Steve Wilks, who was fired on 31 December after only one season in Arizona where he only managed to achieve a 3-13 record. On 25 November, Kliff Kingsbury was fired by the Houston Texans as technical coach after seven seasons, including six seasons as head coach.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers are going to hire Matt LaFleur as the next coach for the team. LaFleur was the offensive coordinator for the Titans during the last season and previously worked for the Rams under Season McVay and the Falcons under Kyle Shanahan. Both Shanahan and McVay are regarded as offensive innovators, and the Green Bay Packers want their next head coach to get Rodgers back to.

The Differences Between Management and Leadership

Great management combined with visionary leadership achieves the best results. Seems obvious right? So how on earth do so many organisations get it wrong, especially when change is needed? There are fundamental differences between management and leadership that apply to any organisation or team. However, the primary focus of this article is to look at the strengths of each because they refer to leading change in any organisation.

The Fundamental Differences

Management is necessarily a set of processes and systems that are designed for problem-solving, staffing, budgeting, and organising. Achieving the best results for an organisation whereas leadership defines the mission, vision, and what a win will look like shortly. This inspires a team to embody the behaviours and beliefs necessary to take action required to achieve those results.

Successful transformations happen when great management converges with visionary, strong leadership. Both are required to plan accordingly, create a clear path, and see a mission plan to achieve fulfilment. Every organisation, small or large, need change more than ever before. Not in a reactive manner but instead in a proactive approach that is embedded in the culture of the organisation. The communication of the overall vision never actually ends when there’s a changing process. It’s infused into every aspect of what managers and leaders do.

However, it’s vital to note the differences between management and leadership, as they relate to the roles the task force of the transformation must take on. A task force of the change is mostly the guiding body created to lead a company or organisation through its transformation. The task force must include front-line managers, senior leaders, and other key members that are respected in their field of expertise.

Most companies and organisations still focus on management development as oppose to leadership development. However, most companies believe its leadership development that they are accomplishing. Individuals might be able to embody both disciplines and qualities. It’s scarce to find someone that is a competent manager and a great visionary leader, and vice versa.

The Power of Management and Great Leadership Combined

When an organisation has poor management capability but great visionary leadership, the overall transformation will only get so far. However, when an organisation has poor visionary leadership but great management capability, the overall vision won’t be powerful enough and will be flawed. Alternatively, it won’t even develop to be completely honest. With marginal management and great leadership, the change will have some significant gains, but it will eventually slow down.

True magic occurs when there’s solid management along with great leadership. There’s no denying that change is a messy business and its never perfect. It usually takes longer than expected, and it’s more costly than initially anticipated. However, with visionary leaders that are supported by phenomenal management, winning results are bound to occur within a company or an organisation.

The Difference Between Mentoring and Coaching

Mentoring and coaching use the same approach and skills. However, coaching is considered short-term task-based, while mentoring is regarded as a long-term relationship. The CIPD differentiates between counselling, mentoring, and coaching. You will also need to keep in mind that these differences are usually delivered by individuals with different relationships and qualifications with their client. The differences between mentoring and coaching can be summarized as follows:


Mentoring is an ongoing relationship that can last for a more extended period. It could be more informal, and meetings are scheduled when the mentee needs support, guidance, or advice. It takes a much broader view of an individual. A mentor is usually more qualified and experienced than the mentee. A senior person within the organisation can generally pass on experience, knowledge, and will be able to open doors to out-of-reach opportunities. The primary focus is on your personal and career development. The mentee sets the agenda, while the mentor offers guidance and support to prepare them for roles in the future. Mentoring is more focused on developing the professional career of the mentee.


Relationships usually have a set duration of time. They are often more structured in nature, while meetings are scheduled quite regularly. Short-term and focused on specific development issues or areas. Coaching is usually not performed on a specific basis where the coach is required to have experience of the formal occupation in the client’s role unless the coaching is skills-focused and specific. The focus is primarily on issues at work or development The agenda is focused mainly on achieving immediate, specific goals. Coaching is based on specific development issues or areas.

Mentoring and Coaching Processes

Management and individual development can occur in several forms, some delivered by external and internal mentors or coaches and some by managers. The different activities are defined as follows:

Guiding – The process of directing a group or individual along a path that leads them from a present state to a more desired state.

Coaching – Assisting another individual to improve awareness, setting and achieving goals to develop a specific behavioural performance.

Teaching – Assisting a group or individual to develop cognitive capabilities and skills.

Mentoring – Assisting to shape an individual’s values and beliefs positively, usually a career relationship over the long term for someone who has done it in the past.

Counselling – Assisting an individual to help them improve performance which can be achieved by resolving situations and scenarios from their past.

Difference between Coaching and Counseling

Coaching is narrower focused, while counselling is in greater depth and broader focused. With coaching, the primary goal is to improve the performance of an individual at work, while counselling is to assist people in understanding the root of their issues or performance at work. Coaching is a short-term intervention, while advice is also considered a short response but can last for long due to the nature of issues that need to be addressed. With coaching, the agenda will be set by an individual, while counselling allows the schedule to be set by both counselor and the individual.

Qualities of a Sports Leader

Every team requires leadership. During difficult situations, players tend to search for a leader within their team, but unfortunately, not everyone has the skillset to successfully lead a team. It requires a special set of characteristics to make it as a sports leader. If you are interested in taking on the mantle within your team, ensure you tick all the requirements below.

Set An Example

As an authority figure and leader, your team members will follow you on any behavioural path of your choosing. Therefore, its vital that you head down the correct pathway for the good of the team. If you are seen raving and ranting at officials and players, or with your head down, or just conduct yourself in a very negative manner, your team members will behave in the same manner. The hardest workers tend to be the best leaders on the pitch which makes them the most respectful in the process.


Awareness is key as a team leader. There’s more than one method when it comes to leadership. A wide range of external factors should influence the approach you decide to take in various scenarios. Spending time with your teammates to build a relationship creates awareness. You need to learn how to react to certain tones and styles. If you suffer a horrible defeat, does your team members react better to a couple of harsh words. Or are the ones that require an arm around the shoulder while they lick their wounds?


Any sport comes with a great deal of passion. You will feel the same range of emotions on the pitch each and every weekend: disappointment when you are defeated and euphoria when you win. As a leader of your team, you will need to embody the positive end of those emotions, including passion, dedication, and commitment, to steer your team towards their own personal goals.


Enthusiasm is a similar quality to passion in a lot of ways and is a vital characteristic for a team leader which can be displayed in several ways. Out on the field, enthusiasm is getting to every ball first and providing encouragement to your team members, or simply motivating your team when things are looking down. Encouragement also encompasses your behaviour on a daily basis as a leader for your team and will usually be more important in the long run.


Coaches, or leaders of a team, will live and die by the decisions they make. As the implementor and creator of a strategy, or a key figure when it comes to decision making, you are required to have the ability and knowledge to stand by your convictions. Leaders are usually elevated into their roles due to their ability. Without the necessary abilities, your authority will immediately become undermined. You will need to strive for skill improvement which will place you in a better position to lead a team. This will also set a perfect example for others to improve their own abilities.

Assistant Coach Duties and Responsibilities

A glimpse and a self-study on assistant coach educational credentials, skills, and responsibilities are just some of the requirements we will look at in this article. The hope is it will enable you to take your career path to the next level. For those that are interested in becoming an assistant coach, you’ve come to the right place. This will allow you to do a quick check to see if you meet all the requirements to become an assistant coach.

Assistant Coach

An assistant coach is essentially a professional whose responsibilities include instructing, guiding, and motivating the sports team while delivering quality coaching to each and every athlete. The duties of an assistant coach include new strategies and developments to formulate effective training protocols.

Responsibilities of an Assistant Coach

•    Supporting the head coach to provide quality coaching which is achieved by motivating the athlete’s ability.

•    Be well-informed of strategies and rules in favour of the team and its players.

•    Assisting the head coach to keep statistics of players, compiling eligibility reports, and making new registrations.

•    Supervising players to overcome their weak areas and to enforce the spirit of the game.

•    Maintaining discipline among players and to assist them in perfecting their skills in both offensive and defensive positions.

•    Work in conjunction with fitness instructors to ensure each athlete delivers their best.

•    Watch and support the development activities of the club and provide equipment to all players.

•    Motivating players to enjoy a free game while building confidence during a loss or keeping players grounded during a win.

Assistant Coach Skill Requirements

•    An assistant coach is required to have in-depth knowledge of the game they wish to specialise in.

•    An assistant coach must have great motivation skills to ensure players deliver their best.

•    Must have an excellent rapport with both the head coach and the members of the team.

•    Must stay well-informed when it comes to new strategies and ensure the team can perfect it in time.

•    Must contain team spirit and must be able to infuse the team spirit into each player or athlete.

•    Must be able to see weaknesses or mistakes by each player and must be able to overcome those mistakes by helping the player.

•    Must have an optimistic approach to encourage each player to deliver better performance.

Assistant Coach Credentials

Apart from the skills and responsibilities of an assistant coach, you will also need the necessary educational qualifications. This will essentially need to consist of a High School Diploma as well as loads of coaching experience. Your all-round knowledge and love for the game will also count when you apply for an assistant coach position. Seeing that this is basically a senior position, you will also need experience in matches on either an international, national or local level.

Assistant Coach Career Scope

If you meet all the requirements and experience mentioned above, there is no reason why you will not be able to choose the career path of an assistant coach. Good Luck!

Sports Coaching as a Career Path

A sports coach essentially organises professional and amateur athletes while teaching them the fundamentals of a specific sport. They also need to train them to compete individually or as a team. You will also find coaches that are required to recruit new players for professional and college teams.

Quick Facts about Sports Coaches

•    In 2015, the annual earnings for a sports coach were around $31,000.

•    Combined with athletic scouts, sports coaches held around 251,000 jobs during 2014.

•    Most sports coaches worked at educational institutions, such as colleges and high schools, while others worked for community organisations.

•    Sports coaches have a fantastic job outlook as employment will grow just as fast as average occupations through to 2024.

Job Duties

There are typical job duties that sports coaches need to excel in to become a successful coach for an athlete or team, including:

•    Problem solving

•    Assistance in recruiting and scouting activities

•    Instruct and teach all aspects of the sport

•    Foster great character and promote sportsmanship in student athletes

•    Supervise students in locker rooms and practice areas

•    Establish rapport and encourage athlete participation

•    Maintain uniforms and equipment

Educational Requirements

Coaches in high schools or colleges are usually teachers which means they are required to meet all qualifications for their occupation. This means they will need a bachelor’s degree at the very least. Degrees that specifically relate to coaching will often include sports medicine, physical education, fitness and nutrition, kinesiology, physiology, sports science, and exercise.

Most employers will usually expect that the coach they hire to have experience in the sport they wish to coach. Those that worked in public schools, such as high schools, must be certified. This usually requires training in first aid and CPR as well as coaching fundamentals and sports safety.

How to Advance As a Sports Coach

It’s highly likely that you will start your coaching career as an assistant coach. Once you gained the necessary experience and knowledge, you will have a greater chance of becoming a head coach. If you are interested in competing at the highest level of a sport in school, you will be required to have substantial experience as an assistant or head coach from a smaller school. However, if you are interested in coaching a professional sport, you will need years of experience along with a winning record to get anywhere.

What Employers Will Expect From You

Apart from gaining the necessary experience and skills to become a coach, most employers will also look for other qualities before they will hire you. These qualities include:

•    Attention to accuracy and detail as well as demonstrating an organisational ability

•    Must be able to give precise and clear directions

•    Must have good judgment and safety awareness

•    Positive, fun, and enthusiastic attitude

•    Must have knowledge of diverse populations and cultures

•    You will be required to immerse yourself in a specific sport and ensure that you are up-to-date with the latest techniques and training methods to excel

•    A background check is always required