That piece of advice that Tim Lees - the author of this book - was given early on in his career has clearly had a significant impact on him so much that it features in the introduction of Developing an Elite Coaching Philosophy in Possession.
Currently coaching Liverpool’s Under 14s, Lees previously worked at Wigan where Roberto Martinez’s approach to the game and his desire to retain control of the ball clearly had a big say in the formation of his philosophy.
That is a key word. In the modern game there is a lot of talk about philosophy, particularly that which is based on possession of the ball, but for many the gap between ideas and implementation remains a huge one. It is fine to want your players to dominate the game and keep hold of the ball as much as possible but that is effectively the easy part. The difficult part is to get the players to do so and that can only be achieved by getting your players to work in a focused manner on the training pitch.
That it is where this book comes in. Contained within it are a whole host of sessions that provide clearly laid out plans for coaches looking at developing various aspects of a possession based game. From One v One Situations to Counter Attacking, there is a range of sessions that will assist coaches in their formulation of their own sessions.
It also contains ideas on how to structure a session and how to develop one’s sessions so that a long term target (like that of dominating 1 v 1s) is achieved. Equally insightful are the personal rules that Lees imposes on himself which are the guidelines on which he maps out his work.
For those coaches who do not have the luxury of visiting a big club to see how it works this is an ideal book to gain that knowledge.
Copies of 'Developing an Elite Coaching Philosophy in Possession' can be bought here.
Disclosure: a review copy of this book was supplied by the author.