PCA Conversation With USMNT Coach Gregg Berhalter: Lessons in Leadership & Positive Coaching


Soccer fans and fans of good coaching were treated to a special Zoom conversation on March 4th with U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Gregg Berhalter. Moderated by The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio, Coach Berhalter walked our audience through his process and guiding principles on creating an environment that positions his team for success.

Coach’s building blocks to creating an optimal environment start with leadership (as a coach be authentic, communicate clearly, have compassion and humility); get the right people on the bus (recruit good people who can help unite around a shared vision) and creating an environment that’s focused on learning (collaborative approach, helping players find their own answers and moving from a comfort zone to a growth zone to improve each day).

What was exciting and clear to youth and high school coaches on the call, were that many of the principles Coach Berhalter implements with the U.S. Men’s National Team are applicable at the youth level and are discussed at PCA workshops: growth mindset, psychological safety, controlling the controllables, giving advice vs. asking questions, communicating clearly with specific details and building confidence.

We selected four video clips from our conversation with Coach Berhalter (seen within this page) that highlight his views on:

  1. What Positive Coaching means to him.
  2. The importance of PCA’s mission at the youth level and how it impacts the work at the National Team level.
  3. Group leadership model today vs. single captain.
  4. Creating psychological safety in the team environment to build resiliency in players.

Positive Coaching Alliance thanks Coach Berhalter and The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio for leading this special conversation and for providing us an inside look at how Gregg and his staff are intentional and work every day to create an environment around the players with the goal of optimizing team performance. Also a big thank you to our PCA Regional Board of Directors and supporters on the call that contributed to the evening’s fundraising success.

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