How To Watch Football Like a Tactical Analyst

If you're a frequent visitor to this website, or a visitor at all, chances are you probably love to watch football. For years and years I watched football mainly for entertainment. But increasingly, as I've coached the game more and more, I've developed a love for watching football, not just for entertainment, but for intellectual reasons as well. Football is more similar to chess than most other sports, and like chess, there are so many different ways to get to a single correct outcome. Football is a game that involves a countless number of complex decisions within each and every second for the twenty-two players involved both on and off the ball. This is why I love watching football. If you've read any of our Tactical Analyses, you may be wondering how to watch football with that same tactical lens. So, this article will cover how to watch the beautiful game like a tactical analyst.

How to Counter Attack Like Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham

Jose Mourinho has long been a proponent of counter attacking football. We featured Mourinho prominently in our 2019 article all about how Jose Mourinho killed tiki taka football with his counter attacking approach to big games, such as the UEFA Champions League final with Inter Milan in 2010. But now with his counter attacking approach … Continue reading How to Counter Attack Like Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham

How To Play Against the 3-4-1 (9v9)

9v9 is one of the most exciting stages in the development of young players as it’s the first time they are truly able to understand tactics, positioning, formations and how to play to the strengths of their teammates. With so many different formations to choose from, 9v9 offers just as much flexibility and creativity for coaches as 11v11. But all 9v9 formations have limitations, gaps and disadvantages that can be exploited when played against correctly. In the next few weeks, TheMastermindSite will be taking a look at how to stop every single major 9v9 formation. First, we discuss how to beat the 3-2-3.

How To Be A Good Sports Captain

Although some coaches believe in avoiding captains altogether, it is unquestionable how many positive outcomes can come from allowing players to take on leadership roles, such as in the form of a captaincy. Giving a player or two an armband can be great for developing confidence, leadership, positivity and teamwork within the entire team; not … Continue reading How To Be A Good Sports Captain

The Art of Persuasion in Coaching

The art of persuasion is a useful tool that all coaches should understand. Social psychologists identify two basic ways to persuade people: through what's called "the central route" and through what's called "the peripheral route". This article examines both, in the quest to help coaches understand the art of persuasion and the best approaches to motivating their players to perform.

Why Players Should Be Open To Playing Different Positions

In my early days of coaching, I picked up very quickly on the fact that players developed an affinity for positions that they played more often. Therefore sometimes when a positional change became necessary, simply playing the player in that position more regularly allowed the player to develop greater confidence and affinity for playing in that position. These effects occurred even when the player started out by dreading the role and thinking themselves to be ill-equipped to perform there. In psychology, this is called the "mere exposure effect". Quite simply, by having more exposure to something, one's motivation, desire and enjoyment of that thing can often be elevated to higher heights. This is relevant for both players and coaches. But how? Here is why this phenomenon is relevant for both coaches and players and how they can use an understanding of the effect to further their craft.

How To Move Like A World Class Striker

It's practically undeniable that a striker's number one role in a team is to score goals. But the actual art of scoring goals is so much more complex than many think. It comes down to far more than just finishing ability and instinct. Movement, particularly movement done off the ball, is so important to a striker's ability to score goals. The very best are masters of the art. Some are incredibly adept when it comes to movement in deep and linking up play with others lower on the field. But this article will explore those that are particularly adept at timing their runs into the box to perfection and scoring goals from their stellar movement off the ball. Here are 7 different movement patterns the world's best strikers often use in games to score goal after goal, game after game.

Overlapping Centre-Backs – Tactical Analysis

Any team's style of play needs to fit the personnel and formation. But a relatively new, unexplored tactical innovation arising out of the re-emerging rise of back-three formations is the concept of overlapping centre-backs. Teams like Sheffield United and Atalanta have achieved widescale success utilizing attack-minded centre-backs, who frequently find themselves in advantageous positions, attempting to join the attack and create chances for their teammates. By adopting this style of play, these teams create overloads in wide and/or central areas, and push more numbers into the box, where the delivery of crosses can be a great asset. On the surface, this may seem like a very simple approach. But the concept of overlapping centre-backs is far more complex than just the simple nature of a centre-back running around a wing-back. So let's get right into this Tactical Analysis all about Overlapping Centre-Backs.

5 Common Mistakes Coaches Make

Recently I had the privilege of helping teach a coaching course at my university institution to eighty students, most of which had never coached before. Not only was it (hopefully) a valuable learning experience for the students, it was also a great learning experience for me and my development as a coach. Across the course, the students adapted well to the teaching methods of the course. However, a few common mistakes could be found in nearly every single session that the students delivered. As a result, I have developed this list of the most common mistakes coaches (not just beginners) often make. This list should be a helpful reminder to all coaches on how to be better in their roles and ensure participants get the most out of their experience.

Teaching First Touch in Youth Soccer

The first touch that a player makes after receiving the ball is a highly underrated skill. The first touch can often make or break an attack and in some cases make a break a player's ability to score a goal. Here is a quick-fire guide to teaching young players how to take their first touch.

Communication in Youth Soccer

Communication is one of the most important skills for young players learning their trade in the beautiful game to develop. Communication is not just all about players shouting at each other and calling for the ball. It goes far beyond that to non-verbal communication, body language, and even knowing when not to communicate. Here are some of the key words and phrases that young players can communicate to their teammates during games.

La Pausa – Tactical Analysis

La Pausa - Spanish for 'The Pause' is a fantastically useful skill for players looking to fool their opponents. La Pausa is a skill whereby players in possession pause on the ball, drawing in defenders and enticing them to make a movement toward the ball. After the defender makes a movement toward them, the player in possession will often quickly speed up play or then make their pass or movement in a direction that exploits the fact that the defender has approached them.