Identifying different personality types in your sports team

There is a fine balance between getting the teamwork right and allowing individuals to shine. Dealing with different personality types is all part of being a coach. Some personality types are common and there are ways to deal with them to get them to play ball. Rather than make a child run around the pitch or do push-ups for stepping out of line, there are more inclusive ways to rein in children to raise their game. We have identified a few personality types and tips for dealing with them.

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Owen Out-of-Shape

There is always at least one child who is out of shape with poor fitness levels and possibly packing a few extra pounds. The aim is to improve his fitness while making him feel good about taking part in a sport; therefore, the idea is to focus on his strengths. Does he have the aptitude to be a goalkeeper, or will he make a good defender because of his size? Push him a little more each session and set goals to make him more motivated.

Narcissistic Nick

Players who think highly of themselves and their own abilities perform better under pressure; however, their performance suffers in situations in which they feel they will not attain glory. They under-perform when the pressure is off, which could be in training. These players need pushing by creating competition or rivalry in training to keep their performance at a high level.

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Whilst treating players as individuals, they also need to feel part of a team. You could involve them in choosing the football team kits, which are available from suppliers such as, and put it to a team vote – rather like an election. All players can then debate the strengths and weaknesses of each strip.

Cheryl Chatterbox

There is always one player who will never stop talking; however, you can channel this energy to help players to communicate on the pitch. She can give instructions about passing or when to shoot, for example.

William Wimp

Some players wimp out of a tackle as they are afraid of hurting themselves or getting dirty. This is a challenge to any coach, as risks must be taken in any contact sport. Instead of drawing attention to his failings, praise him when he does take a risk.