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It is the summer, end of football season and a great time to reflect, what has gone well or not so well, the former probably being the more important one.
We all read these “learn from your mistakes” motivational, inspirational and slightly hollow words because it’s hard to think about your mistakes every time you see this on all your many social platforms.
If I can be the one that really makes you take ten minutes, write it down and think about something that is not going so well and try to figure it out, I don’t even need to know. The ten minutes that you put aside may turn into the best thing you do this year. I hope you do.
What I have been looking at in the last couple of weeks is my own coaching philosophy. My “not so well” thought has been a distinct lack of direction. I have struggled with this a lot of my life. I have found it hard to see those around me with such ideas, specific plans for themselves and their future. I always thought when I was younger, “when did you think of this?” How do you know you always wanted to be a Pharmacist or a Doctor or a PE Teacher? I have had energy all my life, and desire and passion but direction… Not quite.
This year coaching football has become my direction, many moments I am thinking about a specific interaction I had on Saturday morning with a young player at training, similar to the way I played back moments on the football pitch when I played, things I should have done instead, or to non-footballers, what I should have said in an argument that went too quick for me to think of the perfect response. Sometimes this frustrates me, as I think I can be too engaged in the practise wanting to see perfect football, willing a great run and pass or wanting the engagement of young people to listen too much. However, realising it myself is a good sign.
I have been working this year without too much of a focused curriculum for the players, which having completed 2 FA qualifications in this year I know is not good for player development. I need to be thinking a year, 2 years, 3 years ahead. I have taken advice from an experienced colleague A E on how to plan a season effectively.
This is where I come to what I’ve been teasing you with, my philosophy as I stated in my last post. Firstly there comes the base of the philosophy, which is firmly build upon respect, inclusivity, fairness and having fun. Which all young people deserve and I do my best to ensure this.
Technique is the fun of football, my fun anyway. I love it, I love watching Messi dribbling, it is so close and he makes sure his foot can touch the ball first if anyone dare try to take it from him. I love the way Cristiano takes a free kick, where his foot hits the ball, what direction his foot goes after impact with the ball, where his leg ends up with the follow through, same goes for David Luiz, David Beckham and going back a bit Pierre van Hooijdonk and Juninho Pernambucano. These are some examples of a small part of what technique covers but it is so wide ranging over many different touches of the ball and not touching the ball too.
I am a huge fan of working out a way with a player as a coach together, using my experience and taking into account that the player is an individual and does things their way. As my example of free kicks, all superb techniques but different but with fantastic returns. I would hate to be coaching technique and work the next fashionable free kick technique out of a future star player. With one to one coaching, technique is when I question, provide answers and pose more questions to my players. A player builds confidence through being technically proficient and confidence to a footballer is like water to a fish.
Consider Blog Post number 2 Done!
Next up, Focus. I will talk about the focus element of my philosophy as a coach and why I have made it my second pillar of learning, the first being Technique.
Thanks for reading.
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