"Treat coaching as a passion, rather than just a job" - the advice given by Belgium national team coach Roberto Martínez to UEFA Pro Licence student coaches at the latest course in Nyon.
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Today's top football coach needs to take a multi-cultural and diverse approach to guiding teams featuring players from different countries and cultures – an opinion expressed by Belgian national team coach Roberto Martínez to UEFA Pro licence student coaches at a seminar in Nyon.
"Travel, be curious and open-minded, and learn about different cultures," said Martínez, who took the Red Devils to third place at this summer's FIFA World Cup in Russia. He was speaking to student coaches from Germany, Poland, Scotland and Slovenia.
"In a dressing room now, you can have several different cultures," Martínez reflected. "You need, for example, to understand how players from different cultures react to adversity and conduct themselves in various circumstances."
Martínez emphasised the need for coaches to avoid unnecessary stress. "Up to a point, stress can be positive, because I feel that if you don't worry at all, you are not giving 100% – you should try and embrace the intensity of the role," he said.
"In my case, I would personally feel stress if I didn't feel that I'd prepared thoroughly enough for a match.
"Negative stress is when coaches worry about things that they can't control," added the Spaniard. "For example, your job – you have to accept that when you sign for a job, you risk losing it one day.
"Sleep well, eat properly and work hard – as a coach, you need to give yourself the best possible chance to function."
A coach needs clarity, Martínez insisted. "Clarity is what helps you get your message across to players – it is the starting point for players to show their potential and talent." Clear plans and common aspirations to achieve something, he continued, also provide a pathway to potential success.
Martínez and his talented Belgian outfit enjoyed a splendid run to the World Cup semi-finals, beating Brazil along the way before falling to eventual winners France at the last-four stage. "The key was that the players didn't play for themselves, but for their team-mates as well," Martinez explained.
"The players came to the tournament and said, 'What can I do to help my team-mates?' They were more concerned with their role in helping the team to win. The group was mentally ready to perform for each other."
Martínez closed the talk to the young coaches with wise words of advice. "Football is a passion – and treat coaching as a passion, rather than just a job."