Manchester Futsal Club

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Head Coach Corner - Developing and Defining the Roles Within a Team

by Nathan Linley


In a team sport like futsal, the roles of the players within a team are very important. For this reason, the coaches must be conscious of this and they must be clear about what each player can contribute with their characteristics, attitudes and their personality. But it’s even more important that the players are aware of this and that they know what they can contribute to the team and that they understand, accept and are happy with their respected role.

When we talk about roles within a team we could talk about the roles in function of their personalities, influence within a dressing room (leaders within a group, players that are more serious or more jokers, harder workers or lazier, more demanding, etc.)  In this case, I am going to talk about the other types of roles that are also important and indirectly are a consequence of the others: the main roles and the secondary roles.

It is here where we can find problems within a team because the management of a group is not easy. All players want to play as much as possible and to be a participant within successes of a team. The coaches must be conscious of this and manage these situations effectively.

In professional clubs, players are paid to train and play. They must accept their roles because it is the club who pays for them to represent the badge. This does not change that professional players are also people like everyone else and these are individuals that want to play as much as possible. If in professional futsal we already have to deal with these situations, imagine with semi-professional sports where the players have other jobs or even they have to pay fees to play.

For me, the most important factor is that the players must understand that the decisions of the coach are always thinking about the good of the team. The perception that the coach has something against (a certain player) or that he does not value their game is very common and many times it is because of breakdown in communication between the coach and player. In a futsal team you have between 12–16 players and the communication are vitally important with all of them.

As I understand, all players within a team are important and everyone should be conscious of this. If players don’t understand their role and they are discontent, then they are going to train worse, they are going to have less commitment, and this will affect the whole team. If we don’t have everybody on board, trainings will be affected, and it will harm the whole team, not only the discontented or demotivated player. 

The players with more important roles within the team couldn’t perform without the rest of their teammates because where you improve as a collective is in training. If all players understand and accept their situation, the quality of training is going to be much better.

In all teams there will be players who play more than others because the levels are always different, and in the end the coach gives minutes to those players that he considers more appropriate in functions of many different aspects. The key to success is that those players with more secondary roles understand that they also contribute a lot to the team because without them, the team couldn’t grow and improve.

When everyone is commited to be a part of a group, where the good of the team is placed above individual success, it will positively impact the performance of everyone and not just the individual. When you feel like a participant and you know that everybody contributes to the success without thinking too much whether you are the protagonist or not, then this is the mark of a great team.

Even if you are unhappy with your minutes during the game, you must understand that you need to give your best in every single training session and the minutes that you have on the court, it will be that the level of the team elevates exponentially. Talk with your players and make them aware of the importance of everyone, the importance of commitment and the importance to add and make the team grow. If I am unhappy and demotivated I will train worse, and in this case, it will be easier to create a negative atmosphere and the quality of training will go down.

In summary, when the personal interest is above the good of the collective group, some problems will appear, and we won’t have one of the keys of success: togetherness. Give the best of yourself so that team can be as competitive as possible and to have a positive atmosphere and environment.  Without this connectivity of the players, you will never have the maximum performance of your team.