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Inside an Academy: Psychological Support
Whilst a player’s technique is a highly visible – and highly sought after – attribute often less importance is placed on what that individual does to maximise that ability. The history of the game is littered with individuals who didn’t have the mental strength to fulfil their potential and, equally, with stories of players who exceeded expectations.
Contrary to talent, that innate determination to work hard to excel isn’t as easy to discern and often clubs find out about that side of a player only once they sign him. Which explains why clubs are investing heavily in sports psychology in order to ensure that help their players’ mental fortitude.
In the latest in Blueprint for Football’s exclusive series looking into the work carried out at Bristol Rovers, we talk to David Buckwell who delivers psychological support across Bristol Rovers’ academy
Promotion, Relegation, and…Youth Development?
It is often argued that manager at both ends find it difficult to give opportunities to young players. Those pushing to win honours cannot rely on such inexperience whilst those at the other end ill-afford the possibility of having some young players make a mistake that costs them valuable points.
All this seems, to a certain extent, common sense. In that case, it would follow that the removal of relegation would incentivise at least half the coaches to give youth more of a chance. Yet that isn’t the case, at least according to the arguments put forward by Paul Cammarata in this piece.
Zonal Marking and Zonal Coverage
For all the talk that there is about zonal marking – and the bias that some commentators seem to have against it – not a lot is understood about what this means in practice. What are the defenders expected to do? What advantages does it have? And what are its failings?
It is those questions – and more – that Rene Maric answers in the exhaustive article.
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