Building Culture

Gary Curneen is up at Just Football with the final segment of a three-part series on Jose Mourinho, the Coach of Real Madrid.  It’s an enjoyable and laudatory recap of the teachings from an NSCAA special topics course; within it are a handful of important points any leader or coach will find valuable.

Part I of the series focuses on Mourinho’s approach to coaching, particularly leadership and building team culture. Relationships, with staff and players are central to his core philosophy:

“Mourinho then asked his staff how long they have been working together. When one informed him that it has been since 2001, Mourinho then explained that he and his staff have worked with many players over the past 12 years, but when they move on to another club, they never view the player as an ex-player.

Instead, once you play for Mourinho and his staff, you are always one of ‘theirs’. “Forever is forever”, he told us. This is a unique bond that is not evident in professional football. Again, by creating this bond with the players, he can get top performances for a long period of time.”

Part II  focuses on a training session and will be interesting to soccer coaches primarily.

Part III  contains two key points which are useful to coaches, but transcend any one sport:

The first lesson, a coach should envision how he wants a team to play then create the training sessions that will get them there. Here’s a quote:

“Mourinho explained that the selection of training exercises should always be consistent with the way you would like to play. “You can’t create a contradiction with the idea you want for the game.” Mourinho added, “If your team does not play from the back during the game, do not incorporate this in to your exercises.”

He went on to answer what the rest of the world has always questioned: where does he get his training drills/exercises?

”Don’t go to books or websites. First decide how you want to play. Think about it and sleep on it. From that idea, the exercise then arrives.”

The second key point here is the balance between the amount of details coaches require to succeed and the proper amount to provide to players. Plain and simple coaches need to steep themselves in every detail, but players require significantly less to succeed.

Money quote:

The attention to detail in these reports was always of the highest degree because that is the base of how you prepare for a match, Morais explained.

However, Mourinho was quick to point out that the information given to the players could not be as detailed. “Do not give thousands of information pieces to players.” Mourinho added, “It has to be short and objective.”

Head over to Just Football to read the full series.



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