Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Missing Coaching entry: Part 2 - 2007

In 2006 I had watched by son play his first year of football. I hadn't played for over 25 years. I was surprised about how keen I was to get involved. In 2007 I put my hand up to coach. I coached my son's team in the 4th division. It was a good team, I focused on talk and encouragement.

I learnt a lot from our club rules, one of which is that all players must have the same time on the park in every game. I built a strong core. I let them do all the work and decision making on match day. It seemed to work from my perspective they they came 3rd in the table and 3rd in the finals (missing a penalty and losing 0-1 in extra time). I thought the result reflected their potential at the start of the season, and their ability by the end.

I set them up as 4-4-2, but they played 4-2-3-1. Having a very strong 4 at the back who didn't move beyond half way flummoxed most of the teams as they couldn't get out of their half. But it could restrict our attack. And I rotated players through the back 4 as they didn't like it much.

I got into the habit of thanking the ref and assistants - in front of our players - before and after each match - and telling the players not to worry about bad ref decisions as they happen every day in life. Plus I tried to stress that they needed to keep making decisions to control what happened to them on the field - slow it down take two touches. Hopefully they will do that in life too.

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