When selecting players for the club, hiring staff members or a coach we often talk about theoretical qualifications, CVs, technical & tactical skills, etc. In part one of this two-part series we discuss different aspects that form part of our coaching methods and philosophy.
The mind of the child is pure. He recognises facial expressions, gestures, and a pure mind. Words and actions do not fool him.
It would be good to return your roots one day and wonder how everything clicked from the first moment with someone while with someone else it took years before a common tune was found.
We humans always sense something, which can be confused with words, so instead we should trust our instincts. It is all about interaction with one another.
Two or more people are trying to influence the situation in order to reach their desired end result. Some are more straightforward than others but sometimes we give too much value to words.
Actions are a way of earning something. It can be sincere but often it involves buying the trust of a coach or teammate. I'm not saying it’s wrong, as long as it doesn’t go on endlessly.
Good behaviour is often interpreted incorrectly. It’s a question of how you decide to learn rather than a pure mind. There are always witnesses in team sports, but, if they are removed from the equation, we may get a little closer to a pure mind.
The ballbag example: “The team’s training session has ended and every player must put their own ball in the bag so that the caretaker doesn’t have to pick them up from all over the pitch. Well that is what happens at the end of training because he who leaves their ball behind would be pointed out for it.
But what if the situation were different? What if nobody noticed that particular player doing so? How many players would care to notice that one of the balls was left at the other end of the pitch? Hardly anyone if not anybody.”
Actions are a way of earning something and there is some truth in that. Actions also reveal a pure mind. A player who collects his ball even if nobody notices probably has a purer mind than the players that doesn't collect his ball, unless they feel the need to report it to their coach.
Mind & Soul
Perhaps the easiest way to discover a pure mind is through childhood friends and friends you make further along in life. You might hear someone say “you’re just as you were back then” and it is probably true. Childhood friendships are largely built on honesty with the people you trust. There is no need for agreements because you’ve already earned their trust.
Revealing your thoughts is difficult and it can be a slow process. We people do not want to reveal our souls because it is part of our privacy and that’s how it will remain. There we are safe, as long as we just stay there.
Unfortunately, however, it is not until a crisis occurs that our minds and our true soul are revealed. These are the moments coaches fear. It is a moment when minds become mysteries. In one night the trustful player can become the interpreter of the team's emotions and the assistant coach sees that the offended player will take revenge. It sounds childish but that's what this is all about. Players are children who have only become slightly older children. They are children who have learned to speak and take decisions.
The coach can’t change all the players and he can’t choose the board members. But before the coach takes the job, he would surely hope that he could be the one who would notices the child.
So what if the coach could travel in time?
What if he could see the player as a child on his local football pitch and witness how he is in a different environment, with different people at different times, and without him knowing that I see him?
He could witness how he grows up regardless of how strange it would be to see a player with his mother at the dinner table, in a bus with strangers, in school, and on the pitch with his friends. Would he recognise the player as the same man that he is if he did not see this face? If that were the case, we would most likely find their mind in its purest form.
Why we should search for a pure mind
A pure mind brings security to the environment. It relaxes the player. They no longer have to pretend to be somebody or something else. It allows them to become open minded and focus on what’s important.
The meaning of pure mind is less important the shorter time lasts. You can choose the so-called best players for the World Cup but the time you spend together is so short that you barely have time to reveal your thoughts. A pure mind is easier to find in club football even in difficult times.
Discovering a pure mind is a difficult process but in most cases it is worth it. A good coach knows what he wants. He recognises a pure mind and therefore he knows how to give a person space. An experienced coach will always find answers from the body language of his players.