Storytelling Coach Is Winning Card For Soccer Team

If you believe, like me, that leadership is more than top down communication. If you, like me, believe that leadership is more coaching than dictatorship. And if you, like me, believe that established leadership styles are in need of an overhaul, than check out how the coach of my son’s soccer team uses Storytelling and wins the league. Storytelling is the new coaching technique.

When I moved from Europe to the US last Summer, I had many ideas about how sport in the US would be for our children, but I never imagined I would be like witnessing one of the best Good Practice Cases in storytelling and communication: namely that of my nine year old son’s local soccer team. The way his coach puts energy in making the  game and player reviews a truly engaging and motivating learning experience for the boys, still blows me away every time I see it

What it is he does?

1. He creates a personal and warm team environment

2. He evaluates with positive appraisals and recognition, but does not leave out critical feedback

3. He motivates with “You played like Maradona today” stories

4. He translates what the ball wants or does not wants the players to do to get in the goal

5. He carries over his passion for soccer to the boys …,  and their parents

A soccer coach as storyteller

How he does it?

1. His best coaching techniques happen unconsciously

3. He works extremely focused without being intimidating

2. He is passionate about the sport and his team

4. He is creative and does things out of the ordinary

5. His ability to engage goes beyond the team, parents love him

One example of his creativity are the soccer ball patches he gives to the players. Each patch represents a type of play. So is there, for example, a Maradona patch for good ball control, or the blood-sweat-and-tears patch for mastering tough play, or the Snijders patch for leadership. Every time he hands them out, he tells the story of how the player played and why he deserved it. When fastened on the shorts of the boys, they are a great reminder and reward for good play. Different types of skills are being rewarded in the form of a story and visual representation.

And the result: Last fall, the CPYSL U10 travel team ‘FC Extreme’ won the championship!

Don’t we all want a coach like this?