One of my least favourite coaching axioms says that the coach must swiftly address all issues in the team before they have a chance to fester. This seems like sound advice, but in practice it can actually create more problems than it solves. When it comes to interactions within the group there are many situations that could indicate a problem, but not necessarily. There are many things that could cause a player to act out at their teammates and / or coaches. Players can be stressed or tired or under pressure or having personal issues, or even just having a bad day. In these cases, a player who kicks a ball, or swears at a teammate, or answers back to the coach is not revealing conflict or disrespect, they are revealing that they are tired or stressed or under pressure or having problems at home or having a bad day.
The coach who instantly responds to these moments can often provoke problems that didn’t previously exist. It is always better to wait a day (or two) and see how a situation evolves. Most of the time there was no situation, just people being people.
The collection of Coaching Tips can be found here.
Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.