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Leading Your Team

Being able to work with your team is a key skill that all coaches must develop. As a coach, you can take steps to foster team chemistry, teach your players the game, and be a positive role model on and off the field.

Promoting Team Chemistry

Coaches can help players develop team chemistry through proactive steps. Here are some best practices:


  • Create a positive environment based on mutual respect and support
  • Clearly define roles and expectations for each player on the team, with the right roles matched to the right players
  • Maintain open communication between players and coaches
  • Prioritize unselfish play
  • Reinforce that every team member is important, and that each player needs his or her teammates
  • Instill a bond based on pride, trust and not wanting to let anyone else on the team down
  • Promote an attitude of players holding each other accountable for team rules and standards
  • Provide constructive criticism — not the use of fear — and offer praise when appropriate
  • Encourage players to get to know each other off the field
  • Emphasize team goals, as opposed to individual

Activities to Build Team Chemistry

  • Team meals at the home of one of the players or coaches before a game
  • Training camp sleepovers
  • Pair new players with more experienced players during orientation groups
  • Fun team events off the field, such as a movie, bowling or visiting a local restaurant
  • Traditions to mark the beginning or end of the season, such as a pool party
  • Have each player create goal cards that they share with the team each week

Virtual Activity Options

Being a Great Teacher

Being a great teacher means exhibiting the three Cs: competence, consistency and caring.

To become a better coach, it is important to understand the importance of effective teaching. Here are some steps to become a better teacher.

  1. Have a firm knowledge of the subject matter.
  2. Make the material interesting and relevant to players.
  3. Be ready to teach all levels of learners. Players process information in different ways, requiring you to use different techniques.
  4. Be forward thinking — anticipate and adapt to trends that impact your position, particularly involving technology.
  5. Embrace learning as an ongoing process — not just for players, but also for you as a coach. Be open-minded and focus on getting better at your craft.
  6. Build constructive relationships — communicate clearly and exhibit a positive and enthusiastic attitude.
  7. Plan out how you will teach — identify priorities, effective teaching strategies and the tools and resources you will need for each concept or task beforehand.

Being a Mentor

In addition to teaching football skills and techniques, coaches have a responsibility to help prepare athletes for life outside of sports.


Here are some key tips to help you mentor players on and off the field.

  • Share information, ideas and insight.
  • Communicate knowledge in relevant terms.
  • Demonstrable passion and enthusiasm for helping others.
  • Provide constructive criticism.
  • Display a strong sense of values.
  • Convey compassion and selflessness.
  • Understand the essential need to continue learning.
  • Set and meet individual and professional goals.
  • Commit to setting a good example.