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Coach’s Philosophy - Ali's Words

The time has come to recruit coaches for the fresh season. While we hunt for professional coaches, the key point that is of great significance when selecting a coach is their philosophy and method of teaching the game. For me, the core values a coach believes in are crucial because these would reflect in the development of the players and the collective team culture. The way you think and behave has a great influence on your team and you certainly want that influence to be a positive one.

TFA recruits coaches from a broad spectrum. This includes professional clubs and commercial academies; some are professional players themselves. They all come from diverse backgrounds and everyone’s methodology of football training is unique. One of the questions I am always interested in is their coaching philosophy and the kind of culture they wish to foresee in their future team.

I believe culture is the foundation on which teams are built. The way you teach the youngsters is the driving force behind their decisions, gameplay, and personal development. The team culture, therefore, needs to be supportive. It should facilitate the athletes to achieve their full potential and perform their best.

A coach needs to have a vision and be able to inspire players to rally behind a shared mission. He not only grooms athletes but teaches them how to play smart and work collectively to achieve a shared goal. As Michael Jordan says, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

In Dubai, there are many commercial academies and the culture where players are contracted like in a club is very different from the ones where the players pay you. TFA is a commercial academy, but from the start of our journey, we have always taken great pride in promoting a professional culture where hard work is valued and the efforts of the players are appreciated. We have set rules that exist to promote the right values and discipline among the players. It doesn’t matter to us that you pay us. If you have to come to learn football then you will have to follow the rules of the academy.

In commercial academies, some coaches tend to be very strict, while others are too relaxed. Both extremes are wrong. A coach should have a balanced approach and be able to push the player in the right direction because the process of achieving goals is as important as the end goal itself. A strict coach may end up discouraging and demotivating a player. On the other hand, we have such coaches as well who let the kids be on their own and don't make a lot of effort to make them learn. They are of the view that if they are paying and still not interested in football then it is their loss.

I do not allow or accept such behavior. For me, professionalism comes first. I believe honestly, loyalty and commitment to the game are the pillars of a solid culture. A coach must develop a positive environment so every star can shine.

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