THE SECRET OF COACHES WHO HAVE SUCCESSFUL AS FOOTBALL PLAYERS
What do Pep Guardiola, Zinédine Zidane, Ronald Koeman, Mauricio Pochettino, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Andrea Pirlo and Sergio Conceiçao all have in common? The list of names that makes up this easy-to-answer question could be endless. All of these coaches have been elite footballers.
There is no doubt that the world of football has a special atmosphere within the world of sports. Everything generated by this game is observed to the slightest detail by millions of fans and every bit is crucial to achieve success. The figure of the coach is one of the fundamental pillars of football and that is why all clubs do not spare any expense when analyzing who will occupy the privileged seat on the bench.
One of the strategies most used by the directors of the clubs is to bet on former elite players for the position of coach. Now, have you ever wondered what is the reason for this commitment to former elite players who have also triumphed in the world of football?
Authority In The Locker Room
Managing a locker room is not easy at all and authority here has a fundamental role. The soccer player’s ego is sometimes above the common good of the team and someone capable of controlling the different personalities within the team is what’s needed in the locker room. For this reason, the atmosphere generated within the team by having a former great soccer player as a coach is already an advantage when it comes to combating these egos.
It can be said that the technical part can be learned based on coaching courses, but the charisma and glamor that a former elite player already has from his past as a footballer is not at all easy to learn by a coach who starts from scratch.
Real Madrid coach Zinédine Zidane is a clear example of what we talk about. In fact, one of the first phrases he said after sitting in front of the media for the first time as a coach of the ‘merengue’ team was: “a third of the players follow you out of loyalty, a sense of duty and respect for the hierarchy. Another third only follow you if you contribute something to them – people you have to convince. And another third will always complicate your life ”.
Starting with a third already won thanks to that hierarchy obtained from a successful past as a player is already a success. It should be remembered that the coach-player relationship is not easy and without good locker room management, the team can throw a whole season away in an instant.
The danger of player personalities
The football player is, for good and for bad, the fundamental pillar of football. The player, who is the one who has the greatest responsibility and influence in making the team whole and the game valuable to watch. That is, without a well-trained player, there is no good game. The success or failure of the players is definitive and therefore it is vital that the coach knows how to make the most of all the soccer player’s abilities. However, to squeeze all the potential, the footballer has to go hand in hand with the coach. And at this point, the quarrels and suspicions are deadly.
Players can test the coach, in fact, it is quite normal in the first weeks of the coach. By doing this, the player draws his own conclusions as to whether his new coach is qualified to bring out their full potential. Therefore, the coach has to have great persuasion skills, as to convince his players that the effort and work on the field through the week will be beneficial for the weekend’s game. To do this, the coach has to earn the trust of his players. How? Setting an example in their conduct, respect and power of conviction.
The charisma of a coach and his advantage after playing in the elite
Charisma is a fundamental part of having authority, and charisma is something you’re only born with. Now, the player grows up with references in the world of football and being able to be trained by a former great player – whom he admired in his day – is already a superlative advance, even if that former great player lacks charisma.
That superlative advance that means for a coach being able to play the ball well, works in two ways. The first is, as we have already mentioned, the authority that he holds within his squad of players and, the second, is that he enables himself to teach by transmitting his experience on the field, which is one of the most powerful learning tools: teaching by ‘ doing ‘.
Just the opposite case to Zidane was that of Rafa Benítez. An eminent coach after his success at Valencia CF and Liverpool, but without a past as a great soccer player. This made him lose part of his players at Real Madrid, since the battle of egos in the locker room required a different manager than the Spanish coach, recognized for his extensive theoretical knowledge.
Cristiano Ronaldo defined the players’ relationship with Rafa Benítez with a devastating phrase: “There are things that nobody can teach you. Either you have them or you don’t. He told me how to kick the ball or how to dribble, and you have to respect him because he is the coach. But I thought differently and answered with ‘okay’, because there are things that you cannot have a debate with a person who thinks so differently from you. It is preferable to say thank you and that’s it ”.
Thus, it is undeniable that the strategy of betting on coaches who have been great soccer players is a reliable one. Guardiola is the greatest benchmark in elite football and who perfectly meets all the requirements set forth. Now, not everything is elite football and there are figures on the benches of other categories who, thanks to their past, are achieving great things …
Fernando Gómez Colomer and the UD SIA Benigànim
Fernando Gómez Colomer is one of the great legends of Valencia CF. The one who was a player of the ‘ché’ team in his career with this club treasures the great figures of 54,868 minutes in 704 official matches, where he achieved 206 goals and 76 assists. The midfielder, who visited the colors of the Spanish National Team to such an extent that he was part of the squad that fought for the World Cup in Italy in 1990, is one of the most beloved footballers by the Valencia CF fans, something that has been won on its own merits.
His own merits that he is also gaining now as coach of UD SIA Benigànim. The team that manages the International soccer academy of Soccer Inter-Action competes in the Third Division and this 2020/2021 season has become the revelation team of the course. The good game displayed by the young players of the UD SIA Benigànim is getting a lot of chatter about and the Soccer Inter-Action project is consolidating itself as one of the most important training projects in the Valencian Community and therefore, on the national scene.
The secret of this great season for the Soccer Inter-Action team is the synergy between the coach and his players. Everyone has understood Fernando Gómez Colomer’s philosophy of play and they all put it into practice after the team’s weekly training sessions, both at the Benigànim municipal facilities and at the Soccer Inter-Action High Performance Center.
For greater importance in the management of this team by the coaching staff, made up of coaches from the International soccer academy of Soccer Inter-Action, it is worth highlighting the participation every week of the SIA Academy players in the training sessions of the UD SIA Bengiànim . With the intention of taking a further leap in their training as soccer players, the SIA Academy players train together with the young players of the UD SIA Benigànim as a reward for their effort and daily work within the Annual High Performance Program of Soccer Inter- Action.