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Netflix released the "BECKHAM" Documentary Series and we had the opportunity to watch backstage scenes of his career, personal life & most important, for the coach's side, his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson.
Their relationship began on a positive note. Under Ferguson's guidance, Beckham quickly became an integral part of the Manchester United squad, winning numerous Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League.
However, tensions between Beckham and Ferguson started to surface as Beckham's fame and celebrity status outside of football grew. Beckham became not just a football icon but also a global superstar and this increasing attention off the field reportedly caused friction between him and Ferguson.
The most well-known incident that highlighted the strained relationship between the two was the "flying boot" incident in February 2003. During a heated argument in the dressing room following a match, Ferguson allegedly kicked a boot that accidentally struck Beckham in the face, resulting in a cut above Beckham's eye. This incident fueled rumors of a falling out between the player and the manager.
The "flying boot" story gives us the opportunity to share 5 tips for coaches to control their feelings more effectively.
1. Plan and prepare thoroughly
Ensure that you and your team are well-prepared for the game. This can help reduce anxiety and stress, which may contribute to emotional reactions.
2. Set realistic expectations
Establish achievable goals for the match. This can help manage your emotions by reducing the pressure to win at all costs.
3. Focus on the process, not just the outcome
Emphasize the importance of player development, teamwork, and improvement over time, rather than fixating solely on winning or losing.
4. Maintain composure during the match
Stay calm and collected on the sideline. Avoid outbursts of frustration or anger, as this can affect the team's morale and performance.
5. Lead by example
Remember that players often take cues from their coach's behavior. Demonstrating emotional control can set a positive example for your team.
Ultimately, the tension between Beckham and Ferguson led to Beckham's departure from Manchester United. In the summer of 2003, Beckham was transferred to Real Madrid. Ferguson later explained in his autobiography that the decision to let Beckham go was due to his belief that the player's fame and commercial interests were affecting his performance on the pitch.
Despite the controversial departure, both Beckham and Ferguson have spoken positively about each other in the years following their time at Manchester United. They've acknowledged the success they achieved together and have expressed mutual respect for each other's contributions to the game.
Football is a sport that builds strong relationships between coaches and players. Positive, negative or even controversial. As a coach, it is important to emphasize the human part of the sport to manage your team effectively and build relationships that your players will remember for life.