The key feature of the 5Cs program is that it is designed to weave psychological skill development into the fabric of your normal technical and tactical coaching sessions. Therefore you should be aware of your influential role in shaping the coaching environment and how your behaviours have a significant effect on your players’ thinking and actions.

How you promote a C, role model the C, allow the players ownership over the C, grow the C within your sessions, reinforce the C behaviours, empower peer support and support that support, and allow for self-reflection of the C, or ‘PROGRESS’ each C, will determine how effectively you shape any of the 5Cs in your coaching sessions.

What is it?

PROGRESS is the eight key principles and processes that lie at the heart of the coach’s methodology in shaping mental skills in their players.

They are key ways to help a mental skill be (a) understood; (b) valued; (c) practiced; (d) trained under pressure; (e) supported; and (f) reviewed by players during coaching sessions and match days. Through the use of PROGRESS coaches have the best chance of supporting their players to integrate and learn the psychological and social skills that will help them to manage the demands of football and enjoy the game.

What can I do?

The following eight principles are not complicated and many would argue that they represent educational ‘common sense’. We agree! By making PROGRESS through your session you will quickly find that you will build a learning environment that has psychological skills embedded at the heart. PROGRESS stands for:

Promote the ‘C’ in the same way that you would introduce and value a technical or tactical skill. Draw out what it means and how important it is to football.

Role-Model the ‘C’, bringing its meaning to life by demonstrating or referring to excellent examples, versus bad examples from football, or other sports.

Ownership of their learning. Involve players in decisions within the session about how they can demonstrate a ‘C’; allow them options to work at their own pace and to benefit from favourite drills and practice that showcase their strengths.

Grow the ‘C’ by providing players with opportunities to practice the ‘C’, and then to train it in more open game situations when ‘pressure’ can be added to test players.
Reinforce the ‘C’ by praising those players who respond by demonstrating the chosen ‘C’ skill or behaviour, and by making courageous decisions.

Empower peer support by encouraging players to praise each other for positive efforts related to each ‘C’ in order to build individual and collective confidence.

Support the supporter by acknowledging those players when they achieve the above, thereby closing the loop on a supportive environment around each of the ‘Cs’.

Self-review and responsiveness. Check-in with players on their levels of the ‘C’ and empower them to keep working hard; use monitors to review collective efforts, and apply the ‘golden minutes’ of ‘reviewing your learning’ at the end of the session.

Using the 5Cs process you will become familiar with how to adapt, present and ‘add in’ features of the 5Cs into your drills and structure your own responses to players, with the aim of having a positive behavioural effect on your players.