Coaching from the stands

2011-04-16 19:20

There is too much heat on the bench for coaches to bear – so they overstep the line in the technical area more often than not.

It is even worse when they have to raise their voices from the stands after being suspended.

While some coaches like Paul Dolezar prefer to guide their troops like a choir master by bellowing instructions and even demonstrating what players should do, others take the cooler approach – just standing and gesturing only when it is necessary.

These mentors get more frustrated when they are banished to the stands, as they cannot get the message across to their players.

While new technology has eased communication problems between coaches and their assistants on the bench, with the introduction of earpieces and cellphones, it is no substitute for being on the bench.

SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt, who has served a ­­­­­two-match suspension, has described the experience as “torture and frustrating”.

United lost two games against Free State Stars and Kaizer Chiefs with Thomas Madigage in charge.

Hunt said unfortunately, United did not have the new technology that would have enabled him to communicate with his assistant, Madigage, and that made matters worse. He said, however, it was all about planning properly and trusting the assistant.

“If you plan properly, then you should not have problems at all because players know what you expect from them and you also have to have faith in your assistant, that he can do the job, rather than keep shouting instructions from the stands,” said Hunt.

But Hunt was still seething with anger at his suspension.

He said that as much as he believed it was human to err, he still considered that referees made too many big decisions that were wrong and still got away with murder.

“I can understand that we all make mistakes, but sometimes people must take responsibility for their actions because more often than not teams suffer because of some bizarre decisions.”

Free State Stars coach Steve Komphela is also serving a two-match suspension after he was sent to the stands for questioning a referee’s decision.

Komphela will not be on the bench again this afternoon when Stars take on Bloemfontein Celtic in the Free State derby.

In the English Premiership, Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson is serving a five-match ban after being found guilty of improper conduct for his attack on referee Martin Atkinson in February.

Multiple title-winning coach Ferguson has been seen communicating through a telephone with his assistant on the bench.

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