13 Ways To Make A Good Impression on Your Coach
13 Ways To Make A Good Impression on Your Coach. Every coach has their own criteria for evaluating players and their preferred playing style. However, there are certain qualities that catch the attention of most coaches.
The significance of making a strong first impression cannot be overstated. The initial image you project to your coach shapes their assumptions about you and your skills as a player. A favorable impression can stick and last forever, while a negative first impression can be tough to overcome.
When your coach holds a positive opinion of you, they are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt during challenging times. Even when you make mistakes, they may think, “That’s not typical of her.” Conversely, if your coach has preconceived negative notions about you and you slip up, those errors only reinforce their initial impression. Starting off on the right foot makes it much easier to win your coach’s favor and keep it.
Coaches are eager to invest their time and effort in players who demonstrate a genuine desire to improve. Your coach’s perception of you as a dedicated athlete is crucial. If they view you as a committed player, they will be more inclined to go the extra mile to help you elevate your game.
Start off strong and leave a lasting impression on your coach. Here are 13 ways you can stand out no matter what team you’re on or who your coach is next season.
Be on time or even early to training sessions and games. Give yourself time to settle in and get your head ready for the session. Everyone is late sometimes, but if you’re always early or always late, the coach will notice.
2-Take Short Breaks
Be the first one back on the field after a water break. This one is helpful for several reasons. It shows the coach you take training seriously. Your focus is on the session and not on socializing. Coaches always have a lot they want to cover and never enough time; the sooner you get back, the faster they can move on, and they notice which kids are always the last few straggling back to the field.
Study any information the coach sends to you. Whether it’s team formations, game footage, tactics, club values, etc., it’s important to come ready to discuss at the next practice.
When your coach asks the team a question, answer it. More and more coaches are using a method called guided discovery to help players learn by thinking for themselves. When they ask a question, they’re trying to help you problem-solve in your head and understand why the things they’re teaching you are important. A vital part of that process is the player answering the questions they ask.
Usually, if you ask questions, it’s a sign that you’re paying attention to what they’re teaching you and that you’re trying to understand how to apply it.
6-Make Eye Contact
When the coach is talking to you or the team, making eye contact is a sign that you’re probably paying attention.
7-Use What They Teach
Try and use the techniques or tactics the coach is teaching at that practice, or they went over during the week. You might not get it just right, but many coaches would rather have you try the new technique and come up short rather than stick with what’s safe – as long as you learn from your mistakes over time. It might not always be obvious why they want you to learn it, but with a good coach, there’s a reason behind it.
This should go without saying, but play your hardest at training and games. It’s worth repeating because hustle is relative. If you’re working hard, but all your teammates are working harder, then they’re the ones your coach will notice.
Show respect not only to your coach but also to your teammates, parents, opponents, and refs. There are many small ways you can do this. Like telling your coach thank you after training. Not interrupting your coach/assistant coach while they’re talking. Resisting the urge to argue every call with the ref.
10-Be a Leader
There are multiple ways to show leadership and set a good example. Be positive with your teammates. Offer suggestions or feedback if they’re struggling, confused, or frustrated. Be the teammate you’d like to have on your side when things aren’t going right.
11-Watch the Sport
Coaches want players who play smart. If they know you’re in the habit of watching the game played at a higher level, then you’re more likely to understand the concepts they introduce. You’re more likely to understand more of the nuance and intricacies of the game. How will they know you are watching? When you get to practice early or are the first one back from a water break, ask them if they caught the game.
Doing these things only at the first practice won’t be enough to make a lasting impression. After they see these traits during the first few weeks of the season, their impression of you will start to solidify. They have a whole team of players they’re watching, so they may not notice all the things you’re doing right away. Just make these things a habit, and as the season goes on, they’ll form an opinion of you in their mind.
Notice none of these tips refer to your skills on the field, but part of making an impression is having the confidence to show your coach your skills. When they ask for someone to demonstrate a move, raise your hand. Have the confidence to try the new things they’ve taught you at training.
How to Handle Bad Impressions?
Sometimes, we all have “those” days when we don’t make the best first impression, especially during a training session. If you feel like you and your coach didn’t start off on the right foot, how can you fix it?
First, make sure to follow all the advice we just discussed. Even if your coach initially had a negative impression of you, you can change their mind by taking consistent and small actions.
During training, pay close attention to your coach’s comments. They can provide clues about their impression of you. Also, observe how they interact with and talk about other players who are making a good impression.
If you’re unsure about how you fit into the team or how you’re connecting with the coach, consider seeking the opinion of your assistant coach. They may be more approachable and can offer valuable insights.
Additionally, it may be helpful to schedule a meeting with your coach. While asking them after training might work, they might be busy and distracted. By setting up a meeting in advance, they will know to make time to have a conversation with you. During the meeting, ask an open-ended question about the areas you need to improve on.
By taking these steps, you can work towards improving your relationship with your coach and making a better impression.
Ben Edwards is a soccer dad, coach, and fan who’s been in love with the game his whole life and now shares tips, stories, and innovative products for youth soccer families at Soccer Stripes. Check out their guide to choosing a soccer club.