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Coach: how to best understand his first year on the bench?

handball coach, handballtips, handballdrills,

It's decided, after several months of reflection (yes the decision is not made in 1 day...) you have decided to go to the "other side" of the barrier. The good news is that you'll be doing one of the most exciting things in the world : helping people become better ! The worst is that in the same way that you are not a parent because you have just had a child, you only become a coach by practicing and accepting to learn, especially about yourself, and not because you were a good player... The first year is therefore crucial to discover, become familiar with and truly become a coach. I give you here some tips to better understand this year of skill development.

Adopt an exploratory attitude

Learning, progressing requires an open attitude, ready to make mistakes since making mistakes is the fastest way to learn. It is therefore a question of apprehending this first year as an exploration.

Being a coach is a job, a hobby that takes care of both tasks and human relations, the amount of knowledge and know-how to be acquired is important. It requires a learning time that can be counted in months, if not years. It is therefore with patience and commitment that we must approach the first year.

Take the time to observe what is happening in other clubs, other sports, even in companies: how do others supervise groups? Go steal ideas from the right, from the left. The more curious you are, the more you will learn things that will serve you later.

Accept a psychological transformation

Learning to do and developing techniques is not what takes the most time when becoming a coach. The psychological transformation that must take place is the most time-consuming. Beyond what you are going to do and what you are learning to do, your whole person is brought into play through this new role.

Managing your emotions, showing more empathy or sometimes more directness are points that you rarely had to practice until then. Once again, in situation, the new trainer can find himself less patient or more controlling than he would have imagined and a real process of transformation must then occur...

Your whole person is brought into play through this new role.

Agree to let go of personal recognition

As a player, recognition at the club comes from your own performance. Once a coach, it is the performance of others that counts. It is not trivial to let go of the first for the second: accept that the players do better than oneself, and even recruit better ones than oneself. The ego must clearly be put aside and this path is not a matter of a few days for some...

It's a test of self-confidence. In summary, never forget that coaching is "putting yourself in the front line to protect your team when necessary and step aside to leave your team in the spotlight when necessary".

To manage is to leave your team on the front of the stage when necessary...

Accept contradiction and confrontation

The beginner coach must both give up being loved and prefer being respected (and that took me a long time to understand, too long...). At the same time, he must understand that opposition and disagreements to his way of doing things are not necessarily a questioning of his authority.

On the way, it is very likely that some players will be a great challenge. What is at stake can then bring up personal problems from the past reactivated in the confrontation with the other. Once again the process of transformation is deep to overcome all this...

Becoming a coach is a long and very involving process that leads to great personal development when approached with commitment and determination. It is at this price that one does not just train but that one truly becomes a trainer...


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