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Winning Words: The Most Inspiring Coaches

All these technicians have something special, as if they have been touched by the magic wand of charisma. However, Can any coach aspire to inspire the players without being an Aragonés, a Guardiola or a Zidane? Xesco Esparhigh performance expert, author of books such as ‘Jugar con el corazón’ and coach trainer, is clear: “Of course. Not only can they but they must, because it is part of their responsibility. Coaches have to assume two roles, which are continuously intertwined, such as that of sports manager and that of group leader. In both cases you can learn from it”.

First of all, they must know that it is not the same to motivate, which would be related to a short-term goal like a match or training, as to inspire, which is more long-term oriented and associated with certain goals or values. “For a mi, what inspires the most is to strive for a very big challenge, which may even seem impossible at first. The coach’s mission is to convince the players that with effort, work and growth can be achieved And also make them see that they are better than they themselves believe”remarks Espar, who was League and European champion as Barça’s handball coach.

A job as a teacher that must not be punctual, but constant through his example – he must be the first to be convinced – and communication, which can be in the form of group talks, videos, individual conversations, a dinner and even a tantrum at one point. “The coach must see at every moment how the team will react and be aware of which strategy works best with each player”, comments. Because, ultimately, the three key aspects that must be mastered when training in the top category are the tactics, physical preparation and psychology. “An inspired and motivated player is able to raise the level of talent he uses. If he is motivated, he uses all his talent; if it’s not, he settles for half”. And if eleven players use all their talent on the pitch and have a shared game idea they are surely unstoppable.

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