Building your team

Aside

I read this op-ed in the Manchester Evening News earlier today that discussed how Jose Mourinho should build his defense around Luke Shaw (a left back), and it got me thinking:

  • Do you build a unit (attackers, midfielders, defenders) around your best player, regardless of whether he plays centrally? I coached a team once with a dominant right winger, and the team was certainly set up to support her. However, for the vast majority of my coaching career, I built around a strong spine (the central positions).
  • In the modern game, is the outside back position arguably the most important? He has to defend, attack, and usually provides the width for the team. Or is this only the case in dominant teams (teams that see a lot of the ball and can maintain possession).
  • Is the modern outside back more of a defender or an attacker? How does your answer to this question inform how you set up your team and who you choose to play in these positions?

Best,

James

More positivity, ball work, and less shouting

Aside

This recent article from The Guardian highlights some exciting changes in the approach of the English FA’s approach to coaching education. 

In short, coaches are now being instructed to perform as more of a “guide on the side,” rather than the previous method of “sage on the stage.” These terms are not in the article, but I feel they are an appropriate designation in the move toward an approach to coaching informed by insights from education, pyschology, and, in my opinion, common sense. 

Perhaps most important, instead of finding fault and highlighting the negative, coaches will now attempt to “catch players being good” and use positive reinforcement. Jose Mourinho talks about the “emotional bank account” with his players – that is, for every negative/constructive criticism of a player, the coach needs to make four positive “deposits.”

Great advice for any walk of life.

Best,

James