Knowledge and technical understanding is only one part of being an effective coach. The ability to communicate messages well to players is perhaps is even more important.

What a coach says and how they say it is both an art and a science. There is much evidence that we can draw upon as coaches that can inform and shape our communications practice.

In this course, our Coach Development Mentor Sarah McQuade and Global Coaching Mentor Ben Garner look at different methods of communicating with football players, and within a football environment, and how that will vary in different situations.

Communicating is vital for a football coach, being as effective as possible when sharing information will help you become a better and more well-rounded coach. This course will help you develop those skills and have positive impact on your players and your team’s success.

The Art of Effective Communication draws on the experience of two experts in coaching and coach development, Ben Garner and Sarah McQuade.

They will help you gain a greater understanding of the importance of communication that will enable you to adapt your approach to different circumstances, scenarios, and people.

Through the five course lessons, you will learn about the fundamentals of communication, and that it’s not just about what you say and how you say it, but also what you do and how you listen.

The course will help you understand more about your strengths and weakness, and through reflection, be able to recognise opportunities for self-development to become a more effective coach.

Five Lessons

Three Audio Talks

Discussion Forum

Video Learning

01: The Importance of Effective Communication

The first module looks at understanding communication as a vital coaching skill and addresses the core fundamentals. What you say, why and how you say it, as well as your facial expressions and body language, are discussed to help shape your effectiveness at sharing information.

02: Are You Listening or Waiting to Speak?

In the next section Ben and Sarah talk about how listening as a coach has as much value as talking and telling, not only when it comes to players but also to other members of the wider team. The topic leads onto help coaches progress from simply ‘hearing’ to developing ‘listening’ skills.

03: Questioning as a ‘Go-To’ Communication Tool

Coaches can be effective as facilitators of learning, rather than always telling and showing. This module looks at how asking questions can form an integral part of the learning experience and helps coaches understand the purpose of questioning as well as what to ask and when to ask it.

04: Communication within the Coaching Context

The second module begins by looking at the decision-making and choices a football coach must consider when communicating with their players. Not always will information be shared with players in the same way, so understanding how and when to differentiate will make a more effective coach.

05: Reflecting On and Developing Your Coaching Skills

The final part is a key aspect of the personal development journey as you reflect and consider what you have learned on the course. How will you introduce this knowledge into your coaching practices and environment?

Sarah McQuade

Sarah has 20 years’ experience within sports coach education. Following a spell at Sports Coach UK, Sarah has since been working as consultant with sports organisations in the UK, including UK Sport, Sport Scotland, the PGA, RFU and UK Athletics supporting the training and ongoing professional development of coaches and coach developers.

Now based in the USA, Sarah is the founding director of E.T.C coaching consultants specialising in the professional development of sports coaches and sports coach developers and works closely with the US Olympic Committee, International Olympic Committee, World Rowing and USA Football.

She is proud to work extensively with the University of Delaware and United Soccer Coaches, where she is a tutor and mentor on the Master Coach Program. She has also designed and delivered United Soccer Coaches’ Coach Developer Diploma.

Sarah McQuade

Ben Garner

Ben Garner is a highly respected UEFA Pro Licence Coach with a proven track record in developing elite young players.

During an eight-year spell at Crystal Palace Academy he coached players including Wilfried Zaha, Nathaniel Clyne and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Ben spent three years with the Eagles’ first team, working under managers Ian Holloway, Tony Pulis, Neil Warnock, and Alan Pardew.

He was reunited with Pulis at West Bromwich Albion. In 2019 was appointed as assistant head coach under Steve Coppell at Indian Super League club ATK before moving on to become manager at League One side Bristol Rovers.

As well as our ‘The Art of Effective Communication’ course, Sarah also leads our ‘Getting Better at Getting Better’ course, while Ben presents our free ‘Creating an Identity’ module. All three courses are part of the MiMentor Coaches Toolbox series. Other modules within the series will soon to be released on the platform: Effective Planning & Preparation, Performance Data for Scouting and How to Coach a Maverick.

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