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Behind Every Success: Exploring The Concept Of ‘The Team Behind The Team Behind The Team’

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Just imagine a scenario in which there were no players; then there would be no games. That’s why players are the key stakeholders in the game and the manager is in charge of managing the team to success. The players and the manager need all support from everyone around them to be successful. Join me as we dive deeper in the different layers of successful teams in this blog.

The team

Players are crucial to the success of teams and national teams and their performance is critical for any team’s success. They are the ones that make the difference between winning and losing. Players provide the entertainment to the fans. Without players, there would be no games, no coaches, no goals and no excitement. That’s why they are often the most valuable assets of a football organisation.

The team behind the team

The ‘team behind the team’ in football typically refers to the group of people who work directly with the players. There can be different departments with different roles that are all essential to the success of a team. These people are typically all employed by the club or federation. They work together to create a supportive and effective environment for the players and the team to perform at their best. At the end of the day, it’s all about winning! This includes a variety of roles such as:

  • Technical staff

  • Medical staff

  • Operational staff

The team behind the team behind the team

I realized in the early years of my career that there are many more people involved in the success of teams and players. The main goals are to optimize health, maximize performance, avoid injuries and speed-up recovery of each player in every training session and game. Many other people can have an influence in a positive way, but this unfortunately sometimes also happens in a destructive way due to different reasons. I often asked myself the following question:

'Are we winning because or despite …?'

That’s why I created the concept ‘The team behind the team behind the team’ in 2012. It is absolutely crucial that everyone who plays a role in the success of a team and the performance of a player is working together in the most effective and supportive way. Always remember: a chain is only as strong as its weakest link!

Different people, often experts in their field, can support the team and players behind the scenes, from time to time when they are with the team or players and even from outside the organisation.

We can divide this group in two subgroups: people employed by the club or employed by/connected with the player. Here are examples of people that are typically employed by the club:

  • Consultants (nutritionists, psychologists, …)

  • Medical experts (dentist, podiatrist, ...)

  • Directors and management

  • Media team

  • Kitchen staff

  • Ground staff

  • Legal team

  • HR team

  • Scouting and recruitment

  • Research, learning and development team

  • Academy staff

  • Marketing and commercial team

  • Security

There are also many other people that are not employed by the club, but employed by/connected with the player and still play an essential role in the success and performance of a player.

  • Parents, partner and kids

  • Agents and advisors

  • Federations and national team staff

  • Schools, universities and teachers

  • Coach educators

  • Mentors

  • Personal coaches

  • Sponsors

  • Fans

‘The whole is greater than the sum of the parts’ - Glenda Eoyang

Football is a people’s business

Over the past 15 years, I have built my own international network of experts who keep me up-to-date with the latest information and research (such as leadership and management, technology, periodisation, innovation, testing, monitoring, strength training, injury prevention, nutrition, analysis, recovery, wellbeing, rehab, psychology, menstrual cycle support, women’s health and much more).

Of course, it’s impossible to be an ‘expert’ in all of these domains, but it’s an art to connect all the pieces of the puzzle. Connected people with common goals to achieve goals is extremely powerful. I am extremely thankful to all people who provide access to valuable resources, information and opportunities for collaboration and learning.

Reflect on the bigger picture while striving for marginal gains

While it is important to zoom in, pay attention to details and strive for marginal gains (often the so called ‘1%’s’) and continuous improvement, it is even more important to sometimes take a step back, zoom out and reflect on the bigger picture.

Building a winning environment takes a village

As mentioned before, it’s all about winning. Take a moment for yourself and ask yourself the following questions: What do we want to achieve and how are we going to do it? What do we need to win? This includes not only winning the next game or next trophy, but also which strategies do we need to become serial winners?

‘Teamwork makes the dream work’

You win as a team

Recruiting and being surrounded by the ‘best’ players and staff doesn’t mean you have the best team. Teamwork is an intangible asset of an organisation that can become visible by behaviours of individuals and groups. Team cohesion explains the internal dynamics in a team as well for the players, as well for the staff, as well for everybody together. You win as a team, you lose as a team.

‘Coming together is a beginning, staying together is a progress, and working together is a success’ – Henry Ford

Treat yourself as you would treat your players

Also as a coach, you have a team behind you. However, many coaches will confirm that you often feel isolated and lonely in your role. As a manager, it is important to treat yourself with the same standards of care and attention that you would provide to those you are coaching. You can’t do it alone. It is vital to use all available resources to perform at your best every single day.

By prioritizing your own well-being and development, you can better serve your players and help them reach their full potential.


I invite you to take a moment reflect on your own team, your team behind the team, and your team behind the team behind the team. Whether you’re involved in sports or business, you know that every success story has a team behind it! Feel free to get in touch to share your reflections or if you think I can help you!

If you like to hear more about the concept of the team behind the team behind the team, listen to the podcast ‘Inside the coaches’ room’ where I was recently a guest and discussed the concept! It’s available on Apple and Spotify!

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