Six coaching tips from Celtic's International Soccer Academy Manager

GoPlay Sports caught up with Celtic's International Soccer Academy Manager and asked him for his six top coaching tips.

We are honored to have partnered with Celtic for the next three years and we will act as the club's designated United States travel operator for the Academy's clubs in the US.

And to launch our new link-up Willie McNab will be heading to New Balance headquarters in Boston later this month to host two days of coach education sessions on April 28, 29.

But ahead of the widely-anticipated sessions we had a chat with Willie and asked him what the most important skills for a coach to possess were, regardless of their level.


1. Preparation

Be prepared in everything you do. If you are looking at just one session then know exactly what outcomes and your objectives are in the session and how many players you have so it's not off the cuff.

2. Clear Vision

Have a clear vision and philosophy of what you want to do. It is so hard to put something in place when you don't have that philosophy that's driving what you want to do.

That's from a personal coaching point of view and from your club too. You need to have a crystal clear vision.

3. Drive

No matter what level you coach at you always need to be watching other sessions and watching other clubs of all levels that can broaden your horizons.

There are also a lot of excellent podcasts and videos out there with guys that are currently in the game that outline current trends.

Take yourself out of your comfort zone. Have an open mind.

4. Humility

Have that respect factor and not only for your players but also from your fellow coaches. It's something that Brendan Rodgers preaches here at Celtic.

No matter who you are speaking to, whether it is a five-year-old or one of your fellow coaches it's vital you have that humility.

The head of the Academy Chris McCart has always instilled that and when Brendan Rodgers came in he just reinforced it and when you have got someone like Brendan Rodgers, who has been where he has, coming in and saying the same it just reaffirms the good work that is going on in the Academy.

5. Fully commit

Make sure you fully commit to what you are going to do. I love coaches who have an enthusiasm for the game.

You have to put your heart and soul into it. Players look at the coach to get inspiration from and you can be a role model and a father figure/big brother figure and they will try and model themselves on you, so you have to give off that enthusiasm.

6. Be yourself

Do not copy anyone. Get inspiration from other coaches and look at the top guys like Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Brendan Rodgers and get ideas, but ultimately be your own person.

Have your own personality and attitude. You don't need to become a clone of anyone.

For more information contact GoPlay Sports, Tel: 617-942-2882