So with the off season well and truly upon us the quest for many clubs begins to put in place a management team that will give their senior team the best possible chance of success in 2011. For most clubs that means drawing up a wish list of potential candidates and numbering them according to their availability, their cost, their experience and their willingness to do the job. A lot of time effort and energy is expended in what sometimes turns out to be a fruitless search as the club committee pluck names from the air knowing there is little or no realistic chance of the club getting their preferred man.
This rather begs the question do clubs go about the process in the right manner as they go in search of mister right? How many of these clubs have actually sat down and assessed their needs, their prospects, their playing talent or their realistic chances for the new season?
Now I fully understand the need for a good man at the helm and the hope of a title or two but perhaps the search for a top class coach who can have a much wider impact on a club than just the senior team would be more beneficial. Sure managers are important and sometimes hard to find but I feel quality coaching is much more essential and can have a deeper and more lasting impact on a club. Advice on diet, mental and physical preparation, lifestyle and a scientific approach to training are all areas where the truly modern coach specialises.
If a club is fortunate enough to secure the services of a top coach and put a plan in place for him to pass on his experience and talent the whole club can benefit from it. Underage coaches within the club could observe training sessions and perhaps sit in on one or two senior team meetings to pick up tips that they can hopefully make use of with their own teams. It could result in consistent lifestyle messages being spread throughout the club and in the times we live in that has to be a good thing.
So when clubs are discussing their plans for the new season perhaps more emphasis should be placed on the choice of coach than on the choice of manager. Good coaching with a modern approach to individual and team development could bring benefits to a club that will be felt long after a big name manager has moved on.