Next week, I wrap up my second time teaching a Coaching & Leadership course at the university level for a class of enthusiastic undergraduate students. I haven't had much control over the syllabus or in-class learnings either time I've taught the course, and one of the key areas missing happens to be the only form of coaching I currently do - online coaching. More coaches could take advantage of the online formats available to them, even if still working in club environments. Many endurance coaches, mental skills specialists, therapists and counsellours are already coaching almost exclusively online. Other sports and realms will start to catch up. It's only a matter of time before the online coaching boom begins to blossom, so you might as well start to practice your skills in this realm while it's still relatively new.
Category: Coach Education
How to move off the ball like a world class winger
In the modern era, wingers can be as vital to scoring goals and creating chances as any other position on the pitch. Elite superstars like Mohamed Salah and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia have illustrated this to a tee this year, for both their goal scoring prowess and chance creation supremacy. But most young players aspiring to be the world's best struggle to see the finer details of exactly how the likes of Salah and Kvara find themselves in those scoring positions. With that, we break down how to move off the ball like a world class winger, with real examples from the likes mentioned above, in addition to Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Alex Morgan.
Game of Numbers #13 – Guerreiro as a ’10’
With both Julian Brandt and Marco Reus out for the all-so-crucial Revierderby against FC Schalke, many Dortmund fans wondered what Edin Terzic would concoct. The logical solution would have been to play Jude Bellingham further forward in that '10' slot, utilizing his powerful dribbling further forward. But Terzic opted for a more natural 'creative' outlet, shifting Raphaël Guerreiro into the '10' slot. The move worked like a stroke of genius, with the Portuguese full-back scoring a beautiful goal and assisting the other, against Dortmund's bitter rivals. He was far and away the best player on the pitch, and did all he could to help his team achieve victory, despite BVB ultimately falling short come the final whistle.
Conducting opposition reports for pro clubs
In creating a thorough report for a pro club, your inclination might be to include all the information you can possibly find. I often thought the same way, writing 4,000 word articles detailing insights into every player. But contrary to popular belief, you don't need to detail everything there is to know about a particular team when writing a report. It's important to distill the most relevant information for the team, taking into account their own style and principles of play.
The benefits of consulting with a performance analyst
Clubs, and certainly professional players, are not currently accessing this to the extent that would truly take their game to the next level. Yet so many youth coaches and younger athletes at the youth level remain unafraid to make that leap. Soon it will be those coaches and players who are already investing in their development as they work through the game, that will leapfrog those that continue to fall behind. Whoever takes the shot first will reap the rewards, and it's now up to the clubs and players to see the value.
Borussia Dortmund 2-1 RB Leipzig – Match Analysis
Borussia Dortmund have been slowly creeping up the table, knocking at the door of league leaders Bayern Munich as they slip away and fall victim to their own fallacies in 2023. Now with a commanding performance and signal of intent against RB Leipzig, the Black & Yellows currently sit top of the table with Bayern still to play this weekend. Here is our analysis of how Dortmund beat Leipzig.
The simple vs. complex language debate in football tactics writing & analysis
On the one hand, it's nice that those in the community are continuously challenging each other to improve. On the other hand, I wish there was more of a recognition toward the simple fact that there is no right or wrong way to conducting analysis in football. This week the debates stemmed around the notion that simple language is obviously, unequivocally, the best approach when it comes to writing and analyzing football. I'm not sure which one of us wrote the article that tipped the scale and confused everyone, but I'm here to say that complex language can be incredibly useful if used correctly.
Game of Numbers #12 – Erik Ten Hag’s Positional Play Masterclass
Erik Ten Hag has deployed brilliant implementations of positional play all season long, putting on an absolute masterclass of how to confuddle the opposition into oblivion against Leicester City.
Edin Terzic – Borussia Dortmund – Tactical Analysis (2022-23)
After a rocky start to the season, Edin Terzic has clawed Borussia Dortmund back into the thick of the 2022-23 Bundesliga title race. Bayern have been poor since the turn of the year, whilst Terzic's team have only rolled on, winning all of their games in 2023 so far. Despite that, no one has been taking them seriously as title contenders. Terzic and co. will like it that way, as all the pressure continues to be elsewhere. So with that, here is our analysis of Borussia Dortmund in 2022-23, and their chances of winning the title.
The art of staying onside
The art of timing runs effectively as a forward is never an easy task, as it requires adequate scanning of the four pillars to the game: ball, opposition, teammates and space (BOTS). Most notably, the timing of the run has to match the timing of the pass from their teammate, and the timing of the movement from the opposition defensive players up or down. Both of these factors often remain out of the control of the centre-forward, and so it is not entirely their fault for an inability to stay onside. However, with proper scanning and adjustment, offsides can be avoided almost entirely.
How Sean Dyche’s Everton beat Arsenal – Match Analysis
I've long been a defender of Sean Dyche's intensive and defensive, "long-ball" style. But there's perhaps no greater victory in his entire career than starting off at Everton with an absolute bang, beating the league leaders in Arsenal, who had previously only lost a single league game. Everton themselves had not won under Frank Lampard since October. But Sean Dyche would have relished the challenge of his first match, and would have taken all the pressure off his players to perform on the opening day. It showed in their performance, with the Toffees achieving a shock 1-0 win over the current title favourites. Here is how Sean Dyche's Everton beat Arsenal.
Luciano Spalletti – Napoli – Tactical Analysis (2022-23)
Luciano Spalletti has worked wonders since arriving to the scene of Naples in 2021. The Italian manager helped Napoli to a third-place finish last season, and now prepares to lead the closing stages of their title charge in 2023. With some supremely smart acquisitions in the summer working their magic, Gli Azzurri currently sit ten points clear atop the table, and have more than double the points of Serie A's historical dominator - Juventus. If Spalletti can continue to get his tactics right and maintain the remarkably positive culture he's built since arriving, Napoli will walk away with the title this year. So with that, here is our analysis of the club from Naples so far in 2022-23.
The art of structuring an effective warm-up
We all know the importance of warming up the body in the proper ways, but many novice (or dinosaur) coaches fail to adequately know how to warm up the body in the proper ways specific to the sport. As a young gun in the soccer world, I can recall running laps around the field, static stretching, and even hill sprints prior to practice sessions and games. None of these are particularly helpful, even if they can work 1-3% of times in specific contexts (hill sprints aside of course). With that, I present the elements of an effective warm-up and how coaches can structure the warm-up to fit into the grander scheme of their session plans.