Being a coach. Key aspects for success.

The conception of Joel Rocha in Futsal

Written in two hands, by Joel Rocha and Tiago Guadalupe, this article based on the book decodes the conception of thought, methodology, planning, process, training and game of one of the best futsal coaches in the world.

Based on the experiences acquired in the last 20 years, from training to high performance, Joel Rocha takes us, throughout the 280 pages of this book (many of them printed in color), in an objective, exciting and practical way, to know all the concepts, didactics and strategies for anyone who is, or aspires to be, a coach.


Being a coach

Being a coach means having the responsibility, competence and effectiveness of educating, teaching and (trans)forming. The responsibility to be truthful, fair and consistent in all your actions, reactions, attitudes and behaviors. The competence of being a good pedagogue, fully respecting the characteristics and singularities of the individual/player in front of him (age, gender, qualities, difficulties and expectations).

It means being effective in helping to achieve the proposed objectives, whether individual, collective or institutional. It is to educate the player in sports to know how to be, in training and competition, respecting the rules of the game, their colleagues, opponents, refereeing teams and other players in the context (ethics and fair play).

It means teaching a certain way of playing through practice, training and exercise, from individual actions to collective actions, with principles and rules defined, understood and respected by all. It is (trans)forming a group of Men into a TEAM, which fights together to achieve common goals, committed and supportive, with values that define and identify it.

“The coach's goal is to turn potential into true performance. As I mentioned earlier, we are talking, in the first place, about BEING able to manage human beings, even before managing players and teams. Before a trainer speaks to the player, he will have to speak to the Man. Only then comes futsal. Only then comes the operationalization of his leadership and his training and game conception.” - Joel Rocha


4 Areas of coaches' competence

With more and better development in the second chapter of this work, I present what, in the light of my conception, are the four areas of competence of the coach (from young people to high performance):

  1. Human skills;
  2. Technical skills;
  3. Didactic and pedagogical skills;
  4. Organizational and operational skills

“The importance of understanding the coach's role in guiding sports teams and young practitioners who seek the high performance level, since their actions imply not only the teaching and improvement of physical, technical and motor skills, but also involve an effect on the mental and emotional development of players. - Joel Rocha


Team's dynamics

The values of our team.

The team's values are a fundamental, decisive and non-negotiable point for me. I repeat, non-negotiable. And when I refer to values, I do not mean contractual or financial values. I refer rather to actions, reactions, attitudes and behaviors. I am referring to values that involve the athlete, that shape and guide his behavior and that are part of the day-to-day of a work team that has common goals and responsibilities.

As a rule, on the first day of the season, I present the ten values that I intend to form the basis of our team. Values that I intend to be present in all of US through our actions, reactions, attitudes and behaviors.

I usually tell them that if someone is watching our training or game, on a black and white television, they have to be able to identify us through the actions, reactions, attitudes and behaviors that we present. And I don't just mean my players, but also the rest of the staff and myself, the coach. A coach is also an “educator” and the example must come from him.

“One night, coming from a concert, we met a musician friend of ours who asked us: “Where do you come from?”, to which we replied: “We were at a concert by a famous orchestra”. He looked at us and asked a new question: «And did they play together or just at the same time? - Marcus Binney


Player's profile

Each player is a unique being, and therefore, each team, each squad, each year, each season... is “something unique”. It is from the players that teams are made that then support the players. They are “the living organisms” of everyday life, in training and in the game. It is for their well-being (physical, mental, emotional, social, collective) that we think of all the details in order to be able to help them, enhance them and make them reach levels of performance that have not yet been reached.

It's provoking them the daily challenge that they can be better. It is overcoming ambition that will make them (will make us) more disciplined, rigorous and convinced that “getting out of the comfort zone” is strictly necessary for high performance, success and excellence.

For a good player in high performance, good training from an early age is decisive. When we are looking for a “complete” player for a senior team, we are basically looking for all the characteristics that we should teach from their initial base of sports training and consequently increase their specific sports enrichment.

“The player is, clearly, the most important part of the whole process. It is for him and for him that we think, plan, schedule and operate. It is, in my current conception, for him and for him that we idealized a way of playing, that we defined a way of training and preparing ourselves and that together we set goals with the club we represent. Each player is a unique being, and therefore, each team, each squad, each year, each season... is something unique. - Joel Rocha


The training

Game teaching model.

I understand that the beginning of this path should be concerned with the player “how to be unique” and his individual relationship with the ball, with the goal he attacks and the goal he defends.

So I start teaching the game and a way of playing (my way of playing — no worse than others, no better than others, “just” a way of playing with its own characteristics and principles) through individual technical and tactical action in 1x1 and 1xGR situations, that is, what I intend with this first level is that my “uno” player is able to know what to do, how to do it and when to do it, with and without the ball, in every square meter of the field.

Is it demanding? Yes! It's possible? Clearly! Simply put: when I have the ball I want to attack the goal. When I don't have the ball, I want to get the ball back to attack the goal. The “hows” and “whens” are the practical answers arising from the action.

“It is based on the ball, its position and the relationships that are established by it, for it and because of it, that in this chapter I will address my model conception of teaching the game. What is the starting point, what is the path and the point of arrival. What to do, how to do it and when to do it? It is in a gradual and systematic evolution that I understand the teaching-learning process of the Futsal game and all its parts and components involved. - Joel Rocha


The game

For a quality game and play, players and teams are required to prepare in a very specific, detailed and detailed way. I present below, according to my conception, the different variables that we find in the game, and for that reason, we must consider, prepare, outline, program, visualize, train, propose, present, train, consolidate and systematize, in a in order to be able to transfer everything to... the game! For me, nothing is by chance and there are no coincidences!

I want a player coached by me and a team led by me to arrive at the game and the opening whistle and be so ready and prepared that nothing that happens or could happen is new or surprising! We are well aware that there are situations that we cannot control, unexpected and sometimes even unusual events, but even for those moments, we have to be prepared to respond affirmatively and positively to the needs of the team and the game.

It is for this reason that I anticipate and prepare several scenarios that may happen and more than that... What to do and how to do in such situations. From the normal and basic, to the difficult and unexpected, it's good to see and feel that our team is identified with our identity and with what adaptability is based on the opponent's characteristics and behaviour.

“The most beautiful, rich, complex, unpredictable, passionate and challenging of all is the game. To play! To compete! Play with a purpose, a goal, a common idea! After all, this is what we exist, live and prepare for: to simply... play! It is time to face ourselves and confront opponents and teams and expose ourselves to our difficulties and weaknesses, as well as our qualities and capabilities. - Joel Rocha


“The current coach must be, in addition to being a specialist in his area of knowledge, a human resources manager because he works with men, men are his object of study.” - Manuel Sérgio (philosopher, writer, politician, thinker and professor)

Exclusively and for the first time, a top coach shares his latest documents, secrets and day-to-day strategies of working in a high-performance team. Were you curious? Find out more in my new book "Being a coach".


  • FB
    Filipe Beja

    Excelente artigo, pela mão de um excelente treinador, líder e ser humano.

You can use this element to add a quote, content...

Jaquim Alberto