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- Players and teams do need and indeed want to be actively coached. We are where we are (a bunch of park players) because no one has coached our teams and players in modern techniques and tactics.
- We are there to help players get the best out of their talents by showing them the joy of the game and showing them the inner workings of the game and encouraging them to learn how to play better football.
- Success is measured by the enjoyment that the players and coaches derive from the games that they play in and training that they take part in.
- Enjoyment is achieved through recognised progress, sharing the experience with your team mates. An increased chance of winning each game is the desired result but not the ultimate driver of our enjoyment.
- Mistakes made in practice are the first stage of learning how to do it properly. So players should not to be made to suffer for making mistakes.
- Players flourish when taught in a positive psychological climate
- Players respond best to praise and encouragement
- Football is a game. It should be fun in training and on match day. Players should always want to come back for more.
Technical & Tactical
Key elements of my technical and tactical coaching philosophy are:
- The quality of the first touch of each individual is the key to the time that they have to make the correct decisions and hence is the bedrock of. So each session will involve work on maintaining or improving that first touch (distance, quality, direction, body shape).
- In attack our teams will strive to play a passing/ball retention game rather than the lump it and see styles so prevalent in our leagues. This involves an emphasis on teamwork, maintaining a high tempo, keeping the ball moving, playing what you see rather than turning into what you don’t know, not turning unless the ball giver tells you that you can, playing wide and long, varying passing length to a rhythm (eg short short short long).
- In defence our teams will work hard for each other to get behind the ball, play compact, pressure the ball carrier, support each other, communicate actively and often and be patient.
- Good teams can and do beat collections of highly skilled individuals. The team is what will win the game.
- Good communication is the underpinning of good teamwork.
- If you don’t shoot you don’t score. In and around the penalty area take the opportunities to shoot and respect other players for taking on the responsibility on behalf of the team for success or failure of that shot.
On Match Day
- On match day we need to encourage as a prerequisite, effort, determination, communication, focus and teamwork.
- Be confident in the style of play that we have decided to use. Every game is a chance to learn more about the style (what works, what doesn’t) and to learn more about our team mates, their strengths (which we should play to) and their weaknesses (which we should cover them for)
- If you are not making mistakes you are not trying hard enough. Recognise this in other players as well. So bail out, aid and support players who make mistakes, no matter how stupid they are. Nobody on the team makes mistakes on purpose and if you think that you are immune to making mistakes then you are mistaken.
- Concentrate on getting the processes needed to win right during a game not on whether we are winning or losing.
- Work hard for each other, play hard, play fair
- Talk to each other the whole time on the pitch before and after. Communication should have the following characteristics – Optimistic, constructive and energising
- Control and redirect our emotions away from anger, frustration or fear and towards better competitive performance.
- Concentrate on what we can control – the us, the now and the processes. Do not get distracted by the obstacles put in our way by the referee, the opposition or the crowd.
- The game doesn’t end on the pitch. We should think and analyse how to get better for the next match but above all we
- As coaches we strive to learn more about football every day. About technique, about the required skills, about the best tactics, about the best fitness methods, about sessions, about ideas both past and present.
- Prior preparation and planning prevents piss poor performance. Plan for each session at least the night before and arrive at least 30 minutes before a session to lay out.
- Set the highest standards in dress, behaviour, conduct, effort and communication.
- Code of conduct for players and coaches (see previous page)