Coaches can easily get stuck in their ways and miss new trends, fresh ideas and styles to improve their players.
To stay ahead of the pack, it's vital to keep your eyes open and be constantly looking for new approaches other coaches, teams and players are adopting in their game.
So this new year, make your eyes the most powerful coaching tool in your armoury.
Look ahead to stay prepared
Keep an eye on what's coming up in your schedule to make sure you are staying ahead with your planning. By looking into the future, you are able to compile a structured plan of what you want to coach and how.
Set a goal to stay motivated and to judge whether your methods are working. You can then have a clear direction in which you want to go - this clarity makes it easier and more engaging for your players to buy into your coaching methods too.
Watch for new trends
Trends in sport come and go. Look at what Pep Guardiola has done for the style of football the majority of teams seem to adopt now.
Making sure you are aware of these new approaches coaches are developing is vital to firstly developing your own style of play, but also how to counteract against an opponents style of play.
Watch for player reactions
During sessions and games is the only opportunity you really get to see how players feel about your coaching and how they react.
With younger players and amateur athletes, players can struggle to voice their opinions to a coach - it can be daunting. To gauge a true idea, you have to watch them in play.
Look for signs of changes to attitude, motivation levels and how they interpret points to determine whether you are getting their full potential from them.
If you see changes in these, either positive or negative, it's important to ask yourself why and how you can make a change to keep your players engaged.
Review your games/sessions
Regardless of how much or how little video footage you can get, even the shortest of clips can give you a great insight into certain aspects of your play which you may well have missed initially.
Filming skills that players are struggling with, then reviewing the video to pinpoint where it's going wrong will be hugely effective. For the player to see where they're going wrong helps them visualise how they should be performing the skill instead.
It will also help highlight areas where tactically, your approach is failing. A different viewpoint from a new angle or slowed down and repeated will highlight things that you may not spot from the sidelines.
Use the Sportplan App to film parts of sessions where your team are struggling and use the footage to show them how they can overcome their issues.
Preview your opponents
Watch your opponents closely and don't focus just on your own team. Whether this is before the game, with footage from previous games or memories from playing them in past seasons, have an idea of how they like to approach the game and any specific tactics they adopt.
Identify their key players and work out a way of nullifying their influence on the game and establish areas of weakness that you can exploit.
Coaching isn't just about focussing on your own team, it's as much about how to reduce their threats and working out how to exploit them - treat it like a game of chess, you wouldn't play without looking at your opponents pieces.
Watch other coaches
You can learn a lot from just watching other coaches, whether it is in the way they prepare their sessions, how they structure it or how they interact with their players.
A more experienced coach will have developed a wide range of techniques in regards to how they identify an issue and plan a session to develop said weakness.
A major part of being a coach is how one manages relationships. Learning drills and planning sessions can be learnt easily enough, however the top coaches have a refined ability to keep individuals motivated and engaged, even when they're struggling.
To stand back and watch how an experienced coach handle relationships is a fantastic way to pick up cues they use to maintain a healthy atmosphere within a team.
In 2020, your eyes can quickly become your most effective coaching tool and by keeping them peeled to all aspects of your sport, you will soon recognise where you have been going wrong and how you can refine your techniques to get the very best from your team.
Watch for new styles, trends and how others manage relationships in the new year.