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UK Coaching Team
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Joe Montemurro's Top Tips for Understanding Your Emotions

Arsenal Women First Team Head Coach Joe Montemurro offers strategies to help you understand your emotions and ensure positive outcomes for your players and yourself

Arsenal Women First Team Head Coach Joe Montemurro has been a coach and coach educator since finishing his football playing career. Joe’s experiences on and off the pitch and knowledge of the game and have shaped his approach to coaching and how he understands and channels his emotions to have positive outcomes for his players, his club and himself.

Here are Joe’s top ten tips on understanding your emotions: 

  1. Be comfortable with you. Joe explains that he is comfortable and calm with his coaching because it reflects who he is as a person. He is secure in how he wants the game of football to be played and the values that underpin the way people should behave, and this gives him strength to be himself.
  2. Approach your coaching with honesty, humility and selflessness. For Joe, these three qualities are vital to be a successful coach and in creating an environment where everyone can perform to their full potential. Modelling these behaviours as a coach has a positive impact on the team.
  3. Learning and your development is messy. As an experienced coach and coach educator, Joe appreciates that learning is messy, and it doesn’t always take place in a clear order. Joe explains that being aware of how other coaches behave helps you shape your philosophy as a coach.
  4. Think of passion, think of love. As a senior team head coach, there are sometimes moments in competition or practice that can be frustrating, especially when players or athletes do not fully commit themselves to the team goal. Joe considers the emotions that he feels at these moments as passion, as he loves the game and the opportunity to help other people grow in character.
  5. Prepare yourself for competition. “Coaches that scream and yell on the bench haven’t prepared themselves properly for the game,” shares Joe. He explains that competition can be a stressful part of coaching for many, but in his opinion coaches who are screaming at their athletes on a matchday may have not prepared properly. For Joe, matchdays are the best time of the week, where time flies by!
  6. Enjoy your coaching. By taking time to enjoy your coaching, you can relax and take a step back, considering what you say and who you say it to, and be purposeful with your behaviour. Joe creates an environment where everyone in the team has a voice.
  7. Embrace vulnerability. “It is crucial that I show a vulnerable, honest side, but it is who I am”. Joe explains that demonstrating vulnerability as a coach is vital to building trust and strengthening relationships with his players. Joe explains that creating an environment where everyone can share how they are feeling creates a culture of honesty amongst the group.
  8. Preparation of yourself. If you just prepare your technical practice and do not consider how you might behave and interact with your group, you are missing an opportunity to help your players grow as people. Joe explains that coaches have great responsibility and influence and with that there is a requirement to be prepared for how you will coach. Where will you stand? Will you just observe? When do you intervene? Who do you speak to? What do you say? These are some of the questions that Joe highlights for coaches to reflect on.
  9. Be self-aware. Joe feels it is important for coaches to be aware of their own behaviours and emotions. Coaches have an opportunity to be completely unique and become the coach they are most comfortable with, rather than replicating the actions of others. 
  10. Surround yourself with people who give you feedback. Being open to receiving feedback from your athletes, your coaching team and anyone else involved in your practice is important. Consider how the emotions that you show to your athletes make them feel and the impact this has on individuals, the team and the wider culture.

What do Joe's top tips mean to you and your coaching? Do any of Joe's messages resonate with you? Think about how you manage your emotions in training and competition and consider what advice you would want to give other coaches.

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Enjoy more insights from Joe Montemurro


Joe Montemurro speaks about the importance of understanding and integrating emotions in practice and competition

Expert Opinion

Joe Montemurro discusses his experiences of understanding and managing his emotions in practice and competition

Related Resources

  • Checklist for Emotional Regulation

  • Emotional Intelligence: Being the Best Version of You

  • Emotional Intelligence: How Coaches Can Develop It


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