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Coaching, it's easy right?

So, a lot of people think coaching is easy. Run some exercises, shout some instructions, run some laps, go home.

well, you could go that direction, you would certainly meet the performance of some coaches out there; but if you really want to impact your teams performance, you need a different approach.

STEP 1. What is it that you are trying to solve? what is your goal?

Step 2. what is the best way to create success (tactics)

Step 3. Develop a training session that focuses on developing the technical ability and then the tactical knowledge. Step 4. Do it again, and again, and again in different ways until it becomes habit for the players.

In this article, I try to illustrate how I approach these coaching conundrums. I hope you find it helpful in developing your season's training sessions and goals.

What are we trying to solve?

For many of us it's how do we create more opportunities and score more goals.

The graphic below shows the English Premier league over a 4 year spell. Notice that shots outside the box are low percentage shots, to be avoided if other options can be created. I didn't include shots inside the 6 yard box...that was too obvious...



How can we be successfull?

OK, stage 1 complete, we have identified what we want to do and we have analyzed the data and figured out the green and yellow zones ae where we need to take shots from for the highest possibility of success. Now, how do we get in those high probability areas?

Formation is important right? In this case we want a narrow attacking formation and good midfield support. I like a 4 3 2 1 for this, but it's up to you.

How do we exploit the formation and create shooting opportunities?

So now it gets interesting...You need something simple, we only have a couple hours a week, so covering every pattern, movement and attacking play is not possible.  so we pick one. In this case, it's finding gaps in between the full back and CB and passing in behind. Here is how I would think about it and explain it to the team. I've also included what the other players should be doing to support the front players and prepare to contain counters on the transition.

Now we need to coach our plan!

GREAT! We have identified our problem, developed a plan to solve it, now we need to coach the players on how to do it and practice! practice!  practice! Following is an example training session that would enforce the behaviors, habits and movement we need to execute the plan.

Wrap up

So, we are done. Another week's training is prepped. Notice how the session flows, each exercise building on the previous exercise, it doesn't jump around, a little defense, a little attack and some foot work for example. You need to stay focused too, don't try to fix everything, only work on what you are trying to solve; executing attacking balls, played behind the defense. you can run variations of this for a few weeks, driving it home. You are also training your defense on how to STOP the through balls, but don't make that a point until you move to defensive tactics and fundamentals in another session.




Simon Wright, Director of Coaching.