Preparing for the Pre-Season – Where to start?

The beginning of the season is here and with it, the return to work.

During the holidays athletes and coaches have the opportunity to rest, relax, do much of what is not possible during the sporting season due to the busy schedule and the limitations associated with the responsibilities of high competition (in physical terms, food, rest, etc). Hence it is not unusual to predict that the beginning of seasons are strongly marked by the physical component as a way to compensate for the “deviations” that were made during the holidays.

The pre-season is, in my opinion, the most important phase. It is at this stage that the athletes are supposed to know the group, that will know its leaders and the way they lead, the working rules of the group, its objectives and what their role in all this, will know the culture and the history and find out how they are going to be competing for several months. At this stage of the time it is very normal to hover a certain “environment” of uncertainty and doubts about how the expectations of each will be matched.

When a coach approaches me and tells me that he is preparing the sport season and that he is starting to delineate the pre-season and he wants my opinion on what to do, I respond with my opinion reinforced by my athlete experience and being integrated into a project that has already worked with hundreds of teams.

Before starting anything, in particular the “field” work creates the conditions for a given “formal” context to work out issues such as:

  • Alignment (individual and team) – what is the identity of each element of the team? What is it that defines him? What is the identity of the team? What are the values ​​and Mission?
  • Objectives (individual and team) – to help answer the questions: What are the individual objectives? What are the team goals? How will the team respond to my individual needs? How will my participation in the team contribute to it’s goals?
  • Behavioral observation and flexibility – what are the main challenges? How to get around them? What is each individual’s responsibility?
  • Commitment – what do we have to do right now?

At the end of each season there are winners and losers. And I risk to say that the winners usually justify their victories with words like overcoming, teamwork, organization, mutual help, competitiveness, solidarity, courage, determination … aspects that are the foundation of high performance and that are the beginning of everything else!

Know more about this subject in our online course: How to set clear and successful goals to your soccer team?

Because sport is 100% mental.

Nuno Pinto da Silva is an experienced mental coach with a background in the Sports Industry! Nuno was also a former international Sportsman! He is currently the Soccer HUB's COO!

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