Coaching new team .. the challenges of managing

Discussion in 'Training Tips & Coaching' started by CoachingInMotion, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. CoachingInMotion

    CoachingInMotion FHF Newbie

    Sep 20, 2017
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    Hi all,

    New to the forum - it's been a great resource for me since I started coaching a girl's team back in July (early pre-season starts with season starting in 2 weeks).

    Feedback from my training sessions is really positive. The team's coach left mid-season last year. As they completed the remainder of the season without a coach, one of the player's started to take over.

    Now, with me coming in and picking my team selection (First XIs) (based on training performance and pre-season friendlies), I'm getting a bit of pressure about those players I haven't picked.

    The culture in the club is one of 'everyone is paying, therefore everyone needs to play matches.' Which I guess is fair enough except when you have 2 teams and about 30 players.

    In my eyes as the coach, the 1st XI is the team which everyone should be competing to get on and if they aren't on it, they play for the 2nds while they improve their game and work hard in training - awaiting a call up to the 2s. If the 2nds have too many players, I don't think it should the responsibility of the 1st XI team to take the extras from the 2nds - am I wrong?

    I suppose you could say I'm going through that initial battle of trying to gain the respect of players who have been taking charge for the last year.

    How do I get the balance right? I didn't select one player because there's someone else stronger in her position and I had stronger subs, but I'm getting a bit of backlash about it. She actually only joined the club this season and so is not an established player at the club. Is it not my role as coach to choose who I think is best based on performance? There's also some issues with people playing who haven't been at training. The issue is, there's no-one actually available to fill their role in a match in that specific position, so how do I get that?

    What's other people's experience of starting to coach in a new, established team? What way do you pick your selections so that it is fair and reasonable? How do other clubs team selections work?

    Bit of advice, guidance and relatable experience would be most welcome.

  2. JE87

    JE87 FHF Regular Player

    Aug 28, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Ritual - various to suit my coaching needs!
    Key to this is a selection policy - something that the players own as much as the coach. Usually it would be in discussion in your Pre-season Goals & Objectives Meeting. Whatever the team decides they want to achieve (with your help of course), how will they achieve this? One example might be being the majority of training sessions. Another may be how individuals approach their individual development as players - are they trying to get better? If the social side is more important to the team, is the post-training and post-match social time important to the team.

    Essentially, you are building criteria on which you choose to select players. Therefore, if you decide to leave a player out for one or more of these reasons, it strengthens your reasoning for your decision.

    If your decision is purely about the quality of the player, then you have to look at the overall goal of the team. Promotion to the higher league this season? Stay away from relegation? Pick your best players that work well together and give you the best chance of winning games. Building a team for long-term success? Select promising juniors ahead of older players (within reason to create a good balance).

    It's not easy. Where I coach we have issues with commitment. Our older players who have played in the top leagues for many years now have other priorities. Our younger guys in general have other priorities outside of hockey, yet want to win and get the team promoted - they don't necessarily understand the commitment required. And we have a group in the middle who are committed, go the extra mile, but unfortunately are few in numbers! So we decided this year selection would be based on commitment, but in terms of what they could give - guys who only train 1 or 2 out of 3 times a week because of work or family will still be considered for selection. Those who are still in school and have more time to give are therefore expected to train 3 times a week. Importantly, the players as a group decided this AND all agreed this would be a part of the selection criteria.

    Player ownership of this gives you more backup when making your decisions - "You as a team decided this was the criteria" - just make sure you keep to that policy!

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