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Castles by Ants – Episode 29: Ruler and Individual Coaches

An ongoing series about psychology in the world of sport.

It is not easier when it comes to the goals of coaches, either. Many times, people don’t realise that athletes are real people with real personalities. Not everybody thinks the same way, especially when it comes to decision-making. If we have accepted that athletes are humans too, I hope we can also accept the same for coaches. This, however, means that their goals will form based on their personality type. Ruler-type coaches will mostly want status and money. Whether or not the team wins a certain trophy is not of prime importance. That only becomes important if the first goal is needed to achieve the second! Ruler coaches are not very willing to take up teams with storied histories because they would have a lot to lose. Also, it would not be a real challenge, as someone else has already brought the best out of the team. This means that their goal is to take over a lesser-known team that can rise to fame under their watch. This goal system is a bit surprising, isn’t it? Will the Ruler coach say this to anybody? Of course not! Does the person responsible for team cohesion have to be aware of this? Naturally! This is why the deep analysis of their personality is crucial here. They want to give interviews, gain recognition, and be mentioned among the greats. They want a good reputation and will later want to parlay this into money and positions. They will want to fill positions in different associations and club management. They want to become executives, and being a coach is a perfect springboard for this. When is the Ruler-type coach the most suitable? If you need to produce fast results! If there is no time for the long-term building of a squad. If a team needs to be led with a strong hand, and if the will of management needs to be pushed through to the team. This is not often the case, and thanks to that, this type of coach is exceedingly rare among the most famous and successful coaches. However, their proportion among professional department heads or sports managers is quite impressive!

Individuals are real motivators who live for today and enjoy being in the spotlight. They build the exact type of team to complete this mission. They do not want to see people who just work hard in the background. They want to build a team that can “put on a show”, that is, a team that plays a unique game with unique solutions. They are not interested in a boring, albeit unbelievably successful performance. Appearing on TV, giving statements to the press, and attending various events are an important part of their goals, and they want to have results that make this possible. A reason they can be better coaches in the long run than Rulers is that they are money oriented. Individuals do not know how to handle their money, which means that they are constantly in need of new income. Thus, they put great emphasis on their income, and therefore, in their work as a coach. They want to be surrounded by an optimistic atmosphere, and for this reason, they like to neglect Expert players, who constantly attack their not-so-impeccable professionalism, thus creating a negative environment for the coach. In what situations is it worth considering an Individual coach? They are often successful in worldwide competitions involving national teams, where the task is to give the team a motivational boost for a few weeks. When they need to make a talented team believe that they are capable of delivering good results. On the club level, the emphasis is once again on the short term. They can coach season very well, although by the end of the season, they get tired of having to do the same job. This type can mostly be successful with national teams, with a possibly high variance in performance on the club level, but a show is guaranteed!


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Castles by Ants – Episode 28: Expectations of Sports Executives & Coaches