The role of a football coach can be very demanding. Not only are they responsible for managing a group of players and teaching them the correct tactics and techniques, but they will often have administrative duties too.
This is where an assistant coach comes in. By supporting the main coach, an assistant coach can help to relieve some of the pressure and workload.
Many of the most successful head coaches will have started their careers as assistant coaches, but what attributes should a great assistant coach possess?
Having a strong work ethic is essential. Remember that your job is to make the head coach's life easier. Instead of waiting for instructions, use your initiative and get the job done.
Also, anticipate what is required by the coach and players so that you can ensure that their needs are met.
A great assistant coach will also be a great communicator. Converse with the head coach and discuss their expectations of you.
Also, ask plenty of questions, especially if there is something that you do not understand. Doing so will ensure that you are on the same page as the head coach and are confident in your role.
Although it's great to be self-motivated and suggest potential new ideas, it is important to make sure that you do not undermine the head coach. If they want something to be done in a particular way, you should respect their request and do as they ask.
As an assistant coach, you should be willing to learn to become an expert in the field. Make use of all of the resources available to you and study the fundamentals of the sport.
Remember that the head coach will often be busy, so if you need their help you will need to ask for it. Those who are educated in their role are likely to experience more success with a promotion.
You must also be reliable. The head coach needs to be able to depend on you. Turning up to training sessions late or failing to turn up at all without a feasible excuse isn’t going to give them a very good impression of you.
Also, missing staff meetings should be avoided. This is your time to contribute your ideas and show your support for the team and your colleagues.
A great assistant coach should also record notes concerning practice sessions, upcoming games, and conversations. You will then be able to give important details to players, parents, referees, and so on.
Approach your role with a positive attitude. Showing enthusiasm towards the sport will inspire others. Also, encourage and motivate players to showcase their greatest potential and skills.
Aside from this, you should also have a desire to win and achieve excellence. This passion will then be reflected in the performance of the players.
Though the players may not be part of your team just yet, one day you will have your own team and because of this, it is important to set an example and conduct yourself in a way that others can look up to.
As a great assistant coach, you should also be willing to do the less appealing jobs that others aren’t as keen on doing.
Although, most would rather be involved in the fun tasks you are likely to be rewarded by the head coach if they see that you have an enthusiastic attitude towards any task that is asked of you.
How do you become an assistant coach?
If you are an aspiring assistant coach, you may be wondering what experience and qualifications you require to fulfill this role.
Many assume that assistant coaches need a degree of some kind, and whilst you will find that many in this role do have a degree, there are other ways of progressing into this career.
In regards to higher education, the majority of coaches will have a bachelor's degree that relates to this career path. Alternatively, some individuals will have qualifications that are recognized by the Football Association.
Typically, these qualifications will be ranked from level 1 up to a professional standard. Aside from this, those who are likely to be working amongst children will require a DBS check and also first aid training so that they can respond to any sort of emergency accordingly.
Your knowledge and passion for the sport are also likely to increase your chances of becoming an assistant coach.
Ideally, you will have experience of playing football in the past as this will show that you have an awareness of the fundamentals of the game which you can then pass on to those in the program.
In some instances, aspiring assistant coaches will need to demonstrate that they have at least 3 years of experience of being directly involved with the sport.