Does it matter what you wear?

Watching the different ways the top managers dress, it always gives an impression of the team and how it plays. Think of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho who are dressed in sharp suits with very successful teams – although Pep can be seen in some very jazzy clothes these days.

Now I am not saying you should be out on the pitch in a suit and tie with polished shoes. Pep and Jose do not have to put up with the muddy pitches we get in the grassroots game, where anyone in normal shoes would slip over. What you do need to do, though, is to look the part.

Too casual

We played a team recently where the coach was wearing casual clothes and you couldn’t tell that he was the one in charge of the team. It looked wrong and I’m sure his players felt that it looked wrong too. Incorrect gear can look very awkward in the wrong place – and this was definitely the wrong place.

True to form, he didn’t do much in the way of coaching when he was there, standing away from the pitch talking to his players’ parents. I felt it was a poor way to behave but I gave him the benefit of the doubt, assuming that maybe he had something to do that day and couldn’t wear his normal gear.

It wasn’t until we played them again – twice, in fact, as we drew them in the cup – that I realised this was his match day attire. I’m not being a coaching snob when I say coaches should look like coaches, and I don’t mean people should go out and buy really expensive coaching clothing, but there are plenty of cheaper options for match day coaching gear so you look the part.

The right coaching clothing

If you have all the right equipment, having the right coaching clothing goes hand in hand with that. You need to be the focal point of your team and this adds to the overall culture of excellence in your team and at your club.

Whether you’re at a big club with lots of coaches, or a smaller outfit with very few, you need an identity – and that is what your match and training day gear brings you.

If it didn’t matter what Pep or Jose wore when they went out on the pitch with their teams, or turned up in on match days, then they wouldn’t go to those lengths to make sure all the subs, the officials and the back room staff are dressed appropriately.

Having a club culture isn’t just about a playing style, it runs right through the club – and how a coach dresses is a vital part of that.

Dave Clarke

About Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke is head coach and editor of Soccer Coach Weekly, providing thousands of subscribers worldwide with drills, insight and advice covering all aspects of coaching.

As well as being a skilled journalist and editor, Dave has excellent coaching credentials, having coached U9s – U16s at grassroots level for over 20 years.

He holds a UEFA B license and is qualified in FA Youth Award modules 1, 2 and 3, as well as the Coerver Youth Diploma Module.

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