Every Monday evening, 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 23rd of March. If you too want to receive the links straight in your in-box, all you have to do is subscribe to the newsletter.
Inside an Academy: Head of Coaching
For a long time I never thought about the process that led an individual to gain a role coaching youth football particularly on a professional basis. I just assumed that it was the realm of former players – either those who had made it at a senior level or else those who had seen their career terminated at a young age – whose contacts allowed them to gain a foothold.
And certainly, that is the case for many coaches. Yet it is not the only route and, in any case, it takes more than contacts to really make your mark. That point was driven home by Jonathan Henderson, the Head of Coaching at the Bristol Rovers Academy, whose own path involved a lot of incremental steps with a lot of study and knowledge gained along the way.
That is just a small part of the insights that Henderson provided in this second part of the Inside an Academy series.
Assessing the A-Player
How do you judge a player? What might seem like a question with a straightforward answer is in fact a very complex one and anyone who insists otherwise is, frankly, a fool.
Traditionally, this analysis involved looking at four elements: technical, tactical, mental and physical but these days there are other elements that come into play. In this piece, Mark Wotte (who has done some excellent work with youths at Southampton and Scotland) talks about what he looks for when evaluating players.
How to Create High Intensity Sessions
One of the most important aspects of a modern coach is their ability to manage a player’s fitness throughout a whole season. Clearly the level and quality of training that a player has to put in during pre-season varies greatly from other points of the campaign like the Christmas period or else the final two months of the season.
A coach needs to vary the sessions to fit in with the games that have to be played. Yet, at the same time, they cannot simply kill off any intensity from these sessions. This article looks at what top level coaches do in order to ensure that there is high intensity in their sessions which, in turn, will fuel their players’ ability to work hard during the competitive games they have.