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

Frank Lampard – Chelsea – Tactical Analysis (2020-21 Edition)

Frank Lampard enjoyed a successful first season with Chelsea F.C., despite no new summer signings coming through the door. The Blues hovered around 4th for the majority of the season in behind Leicester City, and eventually secured 4th behind Manchester United. Lampard relied heavily on young talent in 2019-20 and the club were rewarded with fantastic performances from the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James. However, this past summer, Chelsea spent millions to secure the signatures of some of the best players around the world. It has taken a bit of time for some of their new signings to gel together, but nine games in, Chelsea are showing great signs of promise as they currently sit 2nd in the table. Along the way, Frank Lampard has made some low-key, subtle changes that have helped to propel Chelsea back toward the top of the table. Here is our Tactical Analysis of Frank Lampard's Chelsea after nine games in the 2020-21 Premier League season.

Attraction, Retention and Transfer of Athletes and Coaches in Community Sport Organizations

Thousands of athletes and coaches across Canada participate in organized sports (Solutions Research Group Consultants Inc., 2014; Gumulka, Barr, Lasby & Brownlee, 2005). Community sport organizations (CSOs) are critical in the quest for youth sport participation and without them, athletes and coaches would not be able to participate to the same extent (Patterson and Parent, 2017). Soccer remains one of Canada’s most popular sports (Solutions Research Group Consultants Inc., 2014). The nation’s biggest province, Ontario, is the home to more than 600 youth soccer clubs, contributing to more than 10,000 members (Ontario Soccer, 2020). In the Elgin Middlesex region of London, Ontario alone, there are twenty-seven different clubs that youth soccer players can join (Elgin Middlesex District Soccer League, 2020). Although this provides young players with a plethora of options, it may also create unnecessary competition between clubs for players and coaches (Edwards & Washington, 2013; Hall et al., 2003). This study aims to identify the elements of organizational capacity and leadership that may be valuable for CSOs to ensure athlete and coach attraction and retention, while avoiding athlete and coach transfer from one club to another within the same municipality.

Marcelo Bielsa – Leeds United – Tactical Analysis (2020-21 Edition)

Marcelo Bielsa is one of the most fascinating managers in the world of football and is currently tearing it up in the Premier League with Leeds United. After earning promotion from the Championship to the top flight last season, Bielsa's side sit only 14th in the table. But the performances have been far better than the results and his side have achieved impressive performances and results against the likes of Arsenal, Man City and Aston Villa so far this season. Either way, the football that Leeds play can be described as genius, and simultaneously as one of our readers described it - madness. With that, here is a Tactical Analysis of Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United and the impressive exploits his team have pulled off in the 2020-21 Premier League season.

Small Group Training Session – Spatial Awareness & Scanning

With all the restrictions going on in the world of COVID-19 right now, small group training sessions are becoming more and more common-place, as coaches are forced to split their groups into smaller numbers. Here is a session plan all about scanning & spatial awareness for 4 players.

How To Play Against the 3-2-3 (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.

Unai Emery – Villarreal – Tactical Analysis

After a brief, relatively unsuccessful spell at Arsenal, Unai Emery is back in Spain and back in the big time, leading Villarreal's charge toward the top of La Liga. The Spanish giants currently sit second in the table, while playing some fantastic football along the way. Under Unai Emery, The Yellow Submarine also have a coach who won the Europa League three times with Sevilla, and made it to the final once with Arsenal. Given what he's achieved in the game and the very decent record his team actually had at Arsenal, the Spaniard has become something of an underrated manager since his Sevilla days and is now building his reputation back up as one of the best managers in world football. Here is a Tactical Analysis of Unai Emery's Villarreal.

Mikel Arteta – Arsenal – Tactical Analysis

The common opinion on Arsenal these days is that they have massively improved under Mikel Arteta and that better times must be ahead. The manager's been given the benefit of the doubt so far in his time at the helm of the Emirates, but other than an FA Cup win, there hasn't been too much to celebrate for Arsenal fans since Arteta took charge. The Gunners have been lackluster to start this season, particularly in front of goal, which is always going to be a problem given that their primary dilemma over the past decade has been at the other end of the pitch. With a few key additions in Gabriel and Thomas Partey, Arsenal could be set for another season in the top six. But they have a massive job to do to get there, especially given the topsy-turvy start to this Premier League season, and their own personal woes to start the campaign. The Gunners currently sit 11th in the table, with a goal differential of -1. But still, many believe Arteta is the right man for the job and that better times are ahead. So with that, here is our Tactical Analysis of Mikel Arteta's Arsenal.

Brendan Rodgers – Leicester City – Tactical Analysis (2020-21 Edition)

After missing out on Champions League football on the final day of the 2019-20 season, many might have thought Leicester City's early season form of last year might just have been a stroke of good fortune and nothing more. But their stellar play has continued at the start of 2020-21 and other than a few disappointing losses to West Ham and Aston Villa, the Foxes have been flying high to start this campaign. After eight matches, Brendan Rodgers' side sit top of the table, with six wins so far. Significantly, they've experimented with different formations and a host of different, less luxurious players in the absence of talents like Ricardo Pereira, Wilfred Ndidi, James Maddison and of course Ben Chilwell, who left for Chelsea. Their impressive form after missing out on Champions League football last year definitely deserves further examination, so here is our early season tactical analysis of Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City in 2020-21.

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.

13 Warm-Up Activities with the Ball

It's seen less and less often today, but back in time warm-ups were hardly ever done with a ball and incorporated things like running laps and static stretching. Luckily, coaches of today have realized that warm-up activities can incorporate the ball, whether it be gradually or right away, and achieve the same outcomes of "warming-up". In fact, these activities not only get players moving and hypothetically help to decrease the risk of injury as a good warm-up should; but they also get players to practice their technical and tactical skills. This allows players to warm-up not just their muscles, but their brains as well. Here are 13 warm-up activities for young players, aged 6-14.

Playing Forwards vs. Backwards – Session Plan & Coaching Points

Many young and inexperienced players have the bad habit of kicking the ball away without looking. Sometimes it comes off, but most of the time these players are only playing into the hands of their opposition, as the opposition recovers the ball without having to do any defending. Players of any age need to learn … Continue reading Playing Forwards vs. Backwards – Session Plan & Coaching Points