Coaching Corner

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Post by Cruijf Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:40 pm

Related question: when would you start to prioritize performance over education? As in, when would you stop worrying about teaching players the 'right' way to play and play as cynically as possible in order to get a result?

Where I live I've always felt the major problem with our national team is they never learned how to play football. From a young age all that mattered was winning, so they played the most athletic kids they could find and resorted to extremely direct football to get results. When is that justified?

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Post by The Franchise Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:15 pm

In my coaching education, there are different "phases" of a players development. In England for example, there is a 10 year model (maybe they have they changed their stance by now IDK) where the different phases were dependant on the age of the players.

The phase you speak of was called "playing to perform" or simply the performance phase, where the athlete emphases more on the result.

This is said to be at the ages of 16 and higher. Not intentionally with this in mind, but this the age I have started to introduce this more into my now u16 team.

I now will get upset with them if they let an opponent dribble through the center of the pitch without a tackle or a foul.

But for me, this is also because of the kind of boys they are. They are nice, Danish boys from well off area. They dont have any reason to fight for anything, have no reason to be assertive and I have to make extra sure on the pitch they arent soft. So I tell them, if they need to hold a shirt to stop a counter attack, then do it, if they need to kick the ball away to stop a quick free kick then do it...I dont tell them to fake injury, I dont tell them to waste time at the end of games (I can do that with substitutions anyway) and I dont tell them to try and injure opponents. But the other stuff, for me, at this age its time to think about performance...we cant be the nice boys team who get f'ed over by a confused ref every week.

That all being said, you also have to emphasis intelligence and understanding. If a skillful opponent is dribbling in the midfield while we dont have numbers back to defend a counter attack, either you stop the ball or you stop him..but both cannot make it past you.

But if a guy is dribbling into a cul de sac, going nowhere and has no options..fouling him there is just foolish and achieves nothing.



As for the style of play. Naturally, the bigger kids will do better at young ages. Its just the way it is, they have many advantages physically but also just as many psychologically. But what good is it for anyone to kick it long to the big guy who runs past everyone because of his size? What do the other guys learn from this? Results? There is no prize money or titles on the line here, how important is it really to win?

It kind of ties in with the cynical side of the game question here. But I see one big difference.

You need to be cynical to protect your football. The best team doesnt always win, you can dominate for 95% of the game and suffer a fluke goal. If you could stop this fluke goal with a foul in the midfield, so be it, you dont feel bad later on because you was the better team anyway and everyone knows it.

But when you dont play football and rely on agricultural long punts..its ugly to watch and not fun to play. Regardless of the result. The only time in my playing years have I ever accepted this way to win with any degree of pride was when I could see that the opponent was superior and this was the only way not to lose. But I knew, accepted and was unhappy with the fact the opponent was the better team.

Also, with every season that goes by, as the boys get older and older, this way of playing is less and less effective. And nothing will hurt you more than facing a poor team and losing, simply because neither team can make 3 passes in a row and they simply out hoof you.
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Post by Cruijf Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:54 pm

Fair points, thanks for your input.

From a playing perspective I obviously always wanted to win, and I recognize its hard to get around that human aspect. As a coach I feel its important to emphasize pure development early on, as opposed to employing cynical tactics to win the 8 year old football fun fest Laughing

Interesting points you made though, thanks
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Post by Kebab Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:49 am

Last post 10 months ago. Who needs this section? Very Happy
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