The Politics of Coaching – Book Recommendation

As coaches, players, and generally as people, we should always be looking to improve in one way or another. Continual growth and lifelong learning are impactful characteristics that shape a prosperous future. By improving ourselves, we can positively impact our surroundings on a greater scale. 

At Nebraska Soccer Talk, we have many objectives. We are here to promote players and coaches that participate in the game we love. As the season gets underway, NEST is also going to be covering as many games as humanly possible with a three person operation. However, we have a more overarching goal of forming an uplifting and supportive soccer community. We plan to do that in many different ways with the assistance of our readers. 

In the world we live in, there are countless resources at our disposal. Some are worth the time and effort, others simply are not. Sorting through those resources can be confusing, as well as time consuming. This article series is meant to make your growth process simple, enjoyable, and organized. Many of these resources are valuable, regardless of your level or role. Youth, high school, club, college, and pro coaches can benefit from these resources. Players, especially team leaders, can learn many valuable lessons. Finally, these items would be great for any parent looking to be more prepared for their child’s development.  

As a young coach and director, I spent countless hours searching and researching the internet for material. Throughout that process, I came across wonderful books, articles, and videos that have impacted me. These resources cover a myriad of topics, including game tactics, data analysis, roster construction, team bonding, program pillars, leadership, and so much more. Through Nebraska Soccer Talk, I wanted to share the resources that have helped me grow as a person and coach.

The Politics of Coaching

by Carl J. Pierson

NEST Review – Coaching can be a wonderful experience, regardless of the sport. For many of us, that sense of impact-fulness is the reason why we chose to get involved. However, longevity in the coaching career path does not happen by chance or luck. Those that prosper are expert communicators, personal managers, organizers, and life coaches. Fulfilling all of those roles can be overwhelming for many. If handled improperly, burn-out or a pink slip is a real possibility. Carl Pierson provides you with a full-scale guide to the coaching lifestyle. Even the smallest of details matter when you’re the program leader; this book helps you with those topics.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Campaign

  • Throwing Your Hat In The Ring
  • It’s Who You Know, Not What You Know
  • It Never Hurts To Apply
  • The Interview
  • The Underdog
  • Know Your Strengths
  • Never Use Negative Campaigning Publicly
  • Running Against An Incumbent

Chapter 2: Director of Communications

  • The State Of The Program Speech
  • Individual Player Meetings
  • Open Door vs. Call and Click Policy
  • The Magic of E-Mail
  • The Danger of E-Mail
  • The Power of Old Fashioned Mail
  • Controlling the Message
  • The New Enemy: Online Fan Forums
  • New Forms of Communication
  • The Coach’s Lifeline
  • Crazy Parents: Label Them Before They Label You
  • Political Correctness: The Power of Words

Chapter 3: Public Relations

  •  Media Relations
  • The Best Public Relations Move You Will Ever Make
  • The Other Best Public Relations Move You Will Ever Make
  • Know Your Constituents
  • The Expectations Game: Control Them Before They Control You
  • Dealing With Public Confrontations

Chapter 4: Special Interest Groups

  • The Powerful Parent
  • When the Powerful Parent is Your Boss
  • Fundraising and Donations
  • Parent Donations
  • Accepting Help From Parents
  • Booster Clubs
  • Control of Activity Accounts
  • The Allies Every Coach Must Have

Chapter 5: Confronting A “Cancer” in Your Program

  • Diagnosing Cancer
  • Player Cancer
  • Parent Cancer
  • Assistant Coach Cancer

Chapter 6: The Politics of Youth Sports

  • Coaching Your Own Kid
  • Youth Tryouts
  • Every Parent Has An Agenda
  • Convincing Youth Coaches to Integrate Your System
  • Sell Your System, Don’t Mandate It
  • When Selling Doesn’t Work
  • Beware The Parent That Won The 6th Grade Championship
  • The Residual Effect of Youth Sports Boards

Chapter 7: Learning From and Dealing With Coaches

  • Trophies as Critic Repellent
  • The Softer Side
  • Old Fashioned Political Acumen
  • Dealing With Coaches in Other Sports
  • Dealing With Club or Personal Coaches
  • Dealing With College Coaches

Chapter 8: The Politics of Winning and Losing

  • How to Handle Winning
  • Using “We” After a Loss
  • Beware of Blaming Bad Luck
  • Shouldering the Blame
  • Players Win Games

Chapter 9: Surviving Race and Gender Issues

  • Males Coaching Males
  • Females Coaching Males
  • Females Coaching Females
  • Males Coaching Females
  • The Politics of Race

Chapter 10: All Politics Is Local

  • Picking Teams
  • Seniors: Cut ‘Em or Keep ‘Em?
  • General Thoughts About Cutting Players
  • The Politics of Playing Time
  • Playing Time During a Blowout
  • Recruiting Players
  • Selecting Team Captains
  • My Proudest Moment In Coaching
  • The Classroom’s Impact on Coaching
  • The Coaching Crossroads: Recognizing When to Move On, Resign, or Stand and Fight
  • The Single Smartest Political Move Any Coach Can Make

NEST Rating – ★★★★★

Amazon Rating – ★★★★☆

Goodreads Rating – ★★★★☆

Buy this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ebay or at your local bookstore.


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