Mark Gannon, CEO of UK Coaching said: ‘If you ever needed somebody at the top of the tree to look at and say, “that’s a role model for what great coaching looks like” he is it.’
Gannon, recalling a quote from former American basketball player and coach John Wooden when assessing Southgate’s work with England, added: ‘A good coach can change a game, a great coach can change a life, and that’s the difference.
Gareth Southgate has been hailed as a role model for coaches up and down the country
‘A great coach has a balance. There’s the technical, tactical, but what else can you draw out of your players that gives them that extra two or three per cent that makes the difference?’
England’s unforgettable journey to a first major final for 55 years was certainly proof of Southgate’s ability to coax more out of his group than had been managed with an England team since 1966.
Gannon, whose organisation is the lead charity for coaching in the UK and represents the nation’s three million coaches, believes the way Southgate led them can be a source inspiration.
He said: ‘The distinguishing factor of a great coach is the connection with people and Gareth Southgate has that in abundance.
The manager guided England to the final of the European Championships for the first time
‘Coaching skills are about people, not just the sport. The culture you set, ethos. The way you coach and lead. He connects with the individual player, the team, the coaching team around him and the wider support network of the FA. He has connected us as a nation.
‘He is an ultimate professional. Great leaders are calm which instils confidence in the people they’re working with. That’s one of his attributes.
‘He is a pretty calm, collected, balanced and thoughtful leader.’
Mark Gannon, CEO of UK Coaching, also praised Southgate’s professionalism as a manager
While previous England generations may have been more heralded but ultimately underachieved, Southgate has also found the right methods to engage his young group which is another valuable lesson from the world of elite sport for grassroots coaches.
Gannon said: ‘If you have a coach who is great with technique and skills but can’t relate to the next generation then they might be put off.
‘Our job at UK Coaching is to try and get that balance between the technical and tactical and what we now call the power skills. We talk about people skills as power skills because they’re the ones that really inspire the participant.’
To find out how to get involved in coaching visit www.ukcoaching.org