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.

Antoine Griezmann – Player Analysis – 2022 World Cup

Antoine Griezmann has been a pivotal figurehead in each of Didier Deschamps' major tournament successes, but the 2022 World Cup might just be his best of all. The French playmaker has created more chances than any other player at the tournament (4 per 90), bagging 3 assists in his 6 appearances as he works to support the wondrous efforts of Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappé. Griezmann's been perfect as a '10' for France - a role that few dare to play him in despite his incredible tactical nous and uncanny awareness of space. Here is our analysis of Antoine Griezmann ahead of the 2022 World Cup Final.

Finding your fit as a player

Even if a coach has not clearly communicated how they see the player fitting into the grander scheme, any footballer can come to a realization about the type of role they fulfill for their team and how they work as part of the team to achieve success on a grander scale, beyond just the individual facets of their game.

The art of dismarking

Dismarking is not that complicated of a process when you really boil it down. Sound movement, corresponding with appropriate timing of decision making on behalf of the players around the situation (such as the player on the ball) will always lead to imbalances in the opposition, particularly if the players scan the field and assess aspects of ball, opposition, teammates and space. With the tips in this article, players can now take their craft to the next level, and become dismarking gurus.

Football analysis with FBRef

In the past year of football analysis, FBRef has become my favourite platform for collecting data, comparing players, and identifying hidden success stories. The website, powered by StatsBomb, is an awesomely free open-source platform for football statistics. In this article, as part of our Introduction to Football Analysis course, I'm going to be taking you through how to get the most out of FBRef, and how to use the well-known platform as a tool to strengthen your analysis. Let's dive in!

How to use Wyscout for successful football analysis

As football analysis has risen to prominence in the past decade, platforms like Wyscout, InStat, StatsBomb and smarterscout have become commonplace for clubs, analysts, scouts, coaches and even players around the world. In today's article, as part of our Introduction to Football Analysis course, we detail how to successfully use Wyscout to enhance your analytical mind and football analysis frame.

When to press, and when not to press in football

Pressing has been one of the most commonly discussed topics in the past decade or so of the detailed scrutinization of football. Ideas around gegenpressing, and the high-control philosophies of managers like Guardiola and Klopp allowed pressing to come to prominence for all to see, and induced a belief that pressing must be the only proper way to defend.

Creating balance in your analysis

When conducting analysis in any setting, it's important to ensure a balance is met, in every sense of the word. That includes considering and dissecting more than just the in-possession moments, and what the camera wants you to see on first glance. That includes considering both the positives and the areas of improvement, whilst keeping feedback constructive and actionable. It's difficult for an analyst to achieve all of the necessary components of an outstanding analysis in one big bundle, but balance must be met regardless of time or place as part of that package.

Recognizing and playing to your teammates’ strengths in football

Each situation in football is unique, and that means every player must endeavour to scan the field at every turn, allowing for appropriate adjustments to each specific situation in the quest to properly perform the next action. But beyond the act of scanning the field, players must have a keen understanding of their own teammates' strengths and weaknesses.

Improving your tactical understanding as a player

Historically, we've tailored our content toward coaches and fans of the beautiful game, attempting to use our content for practical application in the game. But more and more we find ourselves interacting with players wanting to take their tactical understanding to the next level. On the one hand, it's amazing to see players taking initiative, and recognizing the intertwined nature of the tactical side to superiority in all other "corners" of the game. But simultaneously, this points to somewhat of a hole in coaching practice and common dogmas, where the technical and physical components are still prioritized, without enough regard for the tactical elements of football. Here is how to improve your tactical understanding as a player.

Understanding ball, opposition, teammates and space

Nothing can exist in football without perceptions of ball, opposition, teammates and space (BOTS for short if you want!). While there may never be one unequivocally correct answer to any given footballing problem, players can more adequately assess for decision making through muscle memory, experience, automatisms, sheer intelligence, and studying the tips in this article. But those same players, analysts and coaches must also recognize the deeply-rooted tandem bike quadracycle nature of the four elements of the game, and how they all co-exist to work in harmony.

The difference between seeing and understanding in analysis

When it comes to analysis, it's no secret that the goal is to think on a deeper level, scrutinizing over the finer minutia beyond what you see at first glance. But it's also no secret that this skill takes dedicated time and energy to learn. A lack of deep tactical understanding about the game often comes at a cost to coaches and amateur analysts. They are adequately able to perceive events on a football pitch, but they may be unsure of how to change what they are seeing for the better, or even fully comprehend what they are seeing to the level required. Coaches in my Mentorship Program often ask me - "How do you go from seeing to understanding?" Well that, my friends, is what we're after today. In this series of notes, I'm going to give you a series of images and videos, where you can go from seeing, to understanding. If you've been doing analysis for years, no worries, this will still be an excellent way for you to practice and refine your skills.

Goalkeepers in the build-up – a new meaning to the ‘Sweeper Keeper’

The role of the goalkeeper continues to evolve in the modern game, with keepers becoming better with their feet by the year. Not only are goalkeepers now a crucial part of their team's build-up structures, but they're coming higher and higher out of their penalty areas to contribute. We recently discussed how Robert Sanchez often joins the Brighton defense as an auxiliary centre-back when the Seagulls play out from the back. But Sanchez is not alone in the art. The likes of Alisson, Ederson and Manuel Neuer all perform a similar function for their teams, adding another number by which their team can shift the ball around and make the opposition sweat. But why exactly is this happening and what are the advantages? Let's explore.