Every Saturday morning, subscribers to Blueprint for Football Extra, this site's free newsletter, receive an e-mail with the best coaching related articles we've come across during the week. These are the articles included in the e-mail sent on the 20th of December. If you too want to receive the links straight in your in-box, all you have to do is subscribe to the newsletter.
What Goes Into Developing a Coaching Philosophy
There are innumerable coaches who are constantaly looking to improve themselves. Most, however, limit their ambition to football matters. Tim Lees, on the other hand, realised early on that if he was serious about football there were other lessons that he needed to learn. When he realised that he was poor at communicating, he took a job at a call centre to better himself. Later, he took a job at a bank to improve his face to face communication skills.
All that is detailed in this fascinating interview where I spoke to Tim about the journey that has seen him get to be among the coaching staff at Liverpool’s academy, how coaches can develop their own philosophy and why he’s always eager to help other coaches.
The Fixation of Playing Possession Football out of Defence
In every era in football, there are certain tactics that are more in vogue than others. Currently, it is the time of passing football with teams looking to mimic, adopt and alter the style of play pioneered by Barcelona.
In particular, this entails creating play from the back with the keeper acting also as a sweeper; the starting point from which attacking movements are created. This article by Jon Townsend examines that particular aspect and debates whether it is as effective a tactic as is presumed.
Bayern’s Pep Guardiola assists Japan rugby team’s World Cup preparations
I'm a big beleiver in the value and benefits of looking at other sports in order to see what can be learned from them. Since most sports have developed somewhat independently from each other, not all have developed along the same principles and concepts. Now, however, it is more than ever possible to find people who practise and administer these sports to see what they do differently.
A great example of this lies in this article that talks of Eddie Jones who has turned to Pep Guardiola to see whether there are some aspects of his vision that can be transplanted to rugby.
For anyone who doesn't know, Jones is a highly respected coach with a long career filled witg success, not least being the assistant manager when South Africa won the World Cup in 2007. Yet he clearly feels that he hasn't learned all that there is to learn. Good man.
PS. One a similar note, I strongly recommend James Kerr's book Legacy that looks at the various aapects that have made the All Blacks such a dominant force in world rugby. It is a great read that should be on the bookshelf of any football coach.
The Problem With Praise
Whenever I read articles like this, I’m always faced with something of a conundrum. Intellectually, the arguments that you show avoid praising children over a good outcome make a lot of sense (not to mention that they are backed by scientific research) yet, as a parent, it is extremely difficult to pull off. When your kids get a good school report, for instance, it is somewhat automatic that you praise them for it when in truth it is the effort that they put in which should be praised.
Despite my own instinctive conundrum, however, I do genuinely try to avoid such ‘blind’ praise and so too should coaches, something that this article explains (and why) very well.
A Day in the Life of Bournemouth’s Manager Eddie Howe
There are many who believe that they could do the job of a manager at a football club yet few really appreciate what this involves. This fly-on-the-wall piece on Eddie Howe provides a glimpse into their reality and highlights just how much work it takes.
Interested in football coaching and looking for a quick read? Check out Blueprint According To...Volume 2 (US version here), an e-book produced by this site and which contains seven interviews where coaches talk about their believes and work methods.