On Monday, March 30 at 1pm EST (5pm UK time) I will be hosting a free live and interactive MSC Podcast with world renowned sport psychologist and consultant, Dan Abrahams. For this interview, I want to specifically target the role of a coach on game day. It's such a complex position where preparation meets the emotion and pressure, that can create a variety of different problems that a coach must look to solve. Dan has done a lot of work in the soccer community throughout the past ten years and has been on the MSC Podcast before, so I wanted to take this conversation in a different direction.
Below are the areas that we will focus on in the first 30 minutes of the live podcast.
1. Pre-Game Talks
I will discuss the role of the coach during the pre-game with Dan. Is the 'Any Given Sunday' speech still relevant in sports today or is it time to move on now to different processes? When is the right time to deliver certain messages? How can coaches get the balance right of letting go on game day and empowering their teams, with leaving them unprepared or without key support?
2. Half-Time Talk
When you are winning the game, complacency can creep in. When you are losing the game, belief can flow in the other direction. How much should a coach dwell on the past 45 minutes? What are some ways coaches can involve their leaders or other staff members in finding solutions for the second half? And, the million dollar question, does the half-time screaming session work?
3. When Things Go Wrong
We've all been there on the sideline when everything we have done during the week in the preparation, seems to have gone out the window. How does a coach portray confidence in that moment? Or should they embrace the vulnerability? I also want to ask Dan about ways that coaches can help players prepare for the game at optimal level, but still remain flexible enough to expect and deal with these mistakes, like his tweet below advises.
4. Individual Player Management
What are some ways coaches can manage the flow of the game, but at the same time deal with individuals to support and get the best out of them. Jose Mourinho has famously been quick to substitute players who are not carrying out tactical instructions. When should coaches make these changes? Should they communicate with players after they have been substituted? Does the college substitution rule in the US restrict the creativity and risk with players, if they know they can be potentially replaced the next time the ball goes out of place?
5. The Result
With all the preparation and work that went into the game, surely it's only natural that a coach can enjoy the result with their players. Or does this send the wrong message in terms of comfort? How much information can players typically take after a game? And what about a defeat.... if a coaching staff preaches "attention to detail", then is it consistent (or healthy) to relive every single kick of the ball that just took place? Is it necessary for a coach to tweet after a game?
After those areas are discussed, we will move the conversation towards some questions that will be submitted live by the audience. There will be a limit of 200 people who can attend it online. Look forward to seeing you there!