"If you could master one skill within 24 hours that would greatly impact the results you produce, what would that skill be?"

I ❤️ great questions.

They have the power to shift our perspectives and the results we produce. Can you recall the last time someone asked you a great question? What impact had it on you? I'm willing to bet it stimulated your thinking process.

To develop yourself as a football coach who has the power to influence others, you must master effective questioning techniques. Just as a gardener uses various tools to maintain a garden, we can also use different tools to be influential as a football coach.

One of these tools is the skill to ask thought-provoking questions.

Inspire players through thought-provoking questions.

If you want to unleash the full potential of your players and team, you need them to be very good as 'decision-makers.' You must learn to trigger the thinking mind to help them grow into the best decision-makers. That is where thought-provoking questions come in.

Thought-provoking questions will help:

  1. Stimulate critical thinking and foster self-reflection.
  2. Encourage insightful conversations and open communication.
  3. Enhance players understanding of their performance and strategies.
  4. Foster a growth mindset leading to continuous improvement.
  5. Build a resilient, high-performing team.

I like practical stuff. You?

You don't have to know how the engine works to drive a car. It works the same with thought-provoking questions. I'm not gone write an in-depth article. Instead, I give you three categories: Players, Staff Members, and Technical Director, with each ten thought-provoking questions. Then, you have thirty questions that you can use or that will inspire you to develop your questions.

Here they are:

Ten thought-provoking questions to ask players

  1. In what areas could you improve your performance?
  2. How can we enhance our on-field communication to boost our team's performance?
  3. What lessons from our past games will you apply in the future?
  4. Can you give an example of an on-field challenge you've faced and how you overcame it?
  5. What strategies do you suggest to foster trust and unity within the team?
  6. How can we maintain our motivation and focus throughout an intense season?
  7. How do you mentally prepare for a match?
  8. How do you assess your progress throughout the season?
  9. How can you help a struggling teammate improve their game?
  10. How do you maintain your focus during high-pressure moments in the game?

Ten thought-provoking questions to ask staff members

  1. How can we create a culture of continuous learning and improvement within the staff?
  2. What innovative approaches can we take to boost team morale and unity?
  3. How can we further individualize our training to meet each player's unique needs?
  4. What are the main obstacles hindering our team's success, and how can we overcome them?
  5. How can we foster a productive and trusting environment within our coaching staff?
  6. How can we leverage new technologies or resources to give our team an edge?
  7. How can we better involve players in decision-making processes and strategy development?
  8. What methods can we employ to help players recover effectively after games?
  9. How can we improve our communication with players and among coaching staff members?
  10. How can we make our pre-game briefings more influential and inspiring for the players?

Ten thought-provoking questions to ask the Technical Director

  1. What are your expectations for the head coach in the upcoming season?
  2. What resources will be made available for player development and training?
  3. How flexible is the budget for acquiring new players or retaining existing talent?
  4. What's the club's approach to youth development and its significance for the first team?
  5. What are the performance expectations and critical metrics for success in this role?
  6. What is the club's strategy for managing injuries and ensuring player fitness and well-being?
  7. What is your long-term vision for the team, and how does the head coach fit into this vision?
  8. How does the club assist the coach with staff, tech, scouting, and analytics?
  9. What's the expected coach involvement in transfer negotiations?
  10. How does the club manage short-term success versus long-term sustainability?

You can use the given questions or use them as inspiration or to formulate your custom-made questions. The best questions are tailor-made for a specific situation, and timing is highly relevant. There is no size fits all solution.

How great questions lead to excellent football coaching.

It's the quality of your questions that leads to quality answers. Therefore, mastering communication skills for the best football coaching (particularly thought-provoking questioning) is crucial.

In your quest to ask better questions and communicate more effectively with your team, you may find tools like the DiSC Profile proper. It's a personal assessment tool to improve work productivity, teamwork, and communication.

We can develop our 'question skills' through deliberate practice. It's learning by doing and reflecting on it. Are you committed to taking some action?

My actionable tips for you are:

  1. Ask at least one 'thought-provoking question' in every conversation for the next week.
    Provided the situation allows for it.
  2. Reflect right after the meeting or at the end of the day.
    These questions will guide your thinking:
    • Did the thought-provoking question stimulate deeper thinking and open up the conversation?
    • What was the reaction of the person/people to the question?
    • Was the timing of the question appropriate?
    • How did the question affect the overall direction of the conversation?
    • Could I have phrased or timed the question differently for a better impact?
    • What did I learn from the response to the question?
    • How can I apply these learnings to enhance my questioning skills in the future?

Remember, it's not about asking just any question - it's about asking the right question at the right time. So, are you ready to improve your questioning skills and become a better influencer?

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