Club playing philosophy

Discussion in 'Coach' started by elessar78, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 12, 2010
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I’ve been involved with six clubs over the past decade. Some tried to implement a club style of play. Mostly possession/positional style (I think mainly nexuses that’s what they are supposed to say).Bit I cant say it’s beem successful in any way. Most coaches and clubs have a little fiefdom of their age group and they run it how the want-.which is fine.

    But is there a point to mandating a style of play? Or should we (club leaders) just focus more on supporting each coach in whatever method they want to implement?

    In truth, none of us even have senior teams to develop for. And even in the pro ranks, depending on your manager the senior team may not even play the same system as the academy teams.
     
  2. rca2

    rca2 Member+

    Nov 25, 2005
    #2 rca2, Jun 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
    During the fundamentals stage, the training concerns should be a long way from a senior team preference for tactics.

    Players need the skills and tactics necessary to break lines, keep possession under pressure, create and finish goal scoring opportunities, defend zonally as well as man mark, handle transitions, and win the ball back. All of those contribute to dominating the play, which is how I think of team tactics--e.g., the game plan. If players master those skills and tactics, they can play any style of soccer.

    Youth coaches do need a vision of what the senior game is so that their youth training fits in that context. I wasted too much time and effort "undoing" the mistakes prior coaches made, such as mindlessly booting the ball upfield without even looking at the tactical situation. A lot of the damage was mental. Players lacked confidence because prior coaches displayed a lack of confidence in the players. (For instance "hiding" the "weak" players. My coaching philosophy was to make everybody a strong player. Zone presses--once the team is trained--help greatly in boosting esteem and confidence in self and teammates.)
     
    elessar78 repped this.
  3. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 12, 2010
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Agree.

    In a game where an individual in a 90 minute match only has the ball on average 3 minutes—there is a lot one can do without the ball.

    Yet most of entry level soccer is taught on the ball. Nothing wrong with that but I think it’s necessary to give players early an idea of what to do without the ball.

    In a basic 2v1 game. You have one attacker without the ball and a defender (also without the ball). 66%. Attacker with the ball gets 99% of the training. The 2nd attacker knowing what to do would also enhance the effectiveness and cognition of 1st attacker.
     
    Rekyrts, stphnsn and rca2 repped this.
  4. Rekyrts

    Rekyrts New Member

    Sep 7, 2018
    I tend to agree. I think it helps if there is a framework and common endpoint for all the teams.

    I'd argue that said corporate philosophy should even permeate into other facets, like coaching hires for instance.
     
  5. rca2

    rca2 Member+

    Nov 25, 2005
    Helps what? Most clubs in the US do not have senior teams. I suspect none of the 6 clubs mentioned in the OP had a senior team.

    That is part of the problem. The clubs are not developing players for the future. Some of the parents think soccer is a game for children and an easy way to win a college scholarship. They of course are not athletes.
     
  6. Rekyrts

    Rekyrts New Member

    Sep 7, 2018
    While I don't think a senior/first team need be a defined endpoint, I do believe a serious large club should have developmental principles and goals in common.

    Clubs can and do exist as loose collectives of course. I would definitely prefer to work in an organization that has a philosophy that is shared by its staff.
     
  7. rca2

    rca2 Member+

    Nov 25, 2005
    @Rekyrts You still didn't say "what" it helps. The question was intended to identify the objective.

    When I coached soccer my ultimate objective was to instill a lifelong love for the game. Not to create soccer fans, but adult participants. Teaching little kids a specific system of play doesn't further that. Teaching them fundamentals does.
     
  8. Rekyrts

    Rekyrts New Member

    Sep 7, 2018
    I think in that elusive, mythical perfect soccer world, everything fits together.

    I believe a club philosophy is a must-have. It need not be so formal as to require legal drafting, or even slightly ostentatious; the simpler the better. Whether it's a rec club or DA program, it helps guide the process, whether the player is on the pathway to the national team or kicking around for half a season to "keep fit."

    Yes, I believe it is easier to implement at bigger clubs (clubs with multiple age groups and multiple teams at each age) with "professional" staff; it then becomes a relatively simple matter of having an established methodology, and hiring people who buy in and can implement it.

    Implementation at the younger ages need not be formal either. If, as a club, our oldest team looks to play in a standard 4-3-3, then, maybe we are getting the U9s comfortable in a 2-3-1. Even if my club is a community club that serves as a feeder for a bigger club or prepares kids for middle and/or high school, I think we would need a standard that all coaches adhere to. It helps create an identity that all can buy into and players can aspire to, plus (and this is a biggie for me) it determines the type of people employed/recruited by the club to coach.

    By the way... teaching a love of the game is the BEST philosophy of all. No club philosophy should preclude that. Sadly, I think youth soccer is drifting away from that.
     
  9. Rekyrts

    Rekyrts New Member

    Sep 7, 2018
    Very well said.

    This is one area that I think US Soccer coaching education has improved BIG time. Now, at the upper courses, one of the competencies they stress is coaching off-ball players and the opposition.
     
  10. coachd24

    coachd24 Member

    Feb 22, 2013
    Club:
    RC Lens
    Working with our local club as the HS coach we revamped the entire system. Using the HS team as the "Senior" team 90% of the training principles are based off of the HS's philosophy and the things we've noticed in players coming up recently and the style I would like to play. Any kid in the club now can compare themselves to the players on the HS team and next year the U20s and U23s that will be starting to play in the summer (former club kids now playing in college).

    There's now a developmental pyramid that kids, parents, and coaches can trace and every club team should have the same playing style (I also coach 2 teams at the club, 10s and 12s, to help in the transition). Most of the coaches we have are just parents which is why we went more specific than needed but it in just a few months it has definitely made a difference.

    Kids seem to understand their roles a little more and the the "level goals" also gives coaches 1-2 things to emphasize every 2 years. Ex: by U10 they should be able to...By U12 they should be able to... The biggest issue we've had is parents accepting the fact that the philosophy doesn't equal results and in many cases they will encourage the kids to go back to old habits (Ex: U12 team lost 4-1 after making 4 mistakes while building out of the back because the Outside Backs were playing higher than they were used to that left the CB's and DM a little nervous against a team that pressed high or the U10 parents getting upset that kids were not passing since the emphasis there is to take people on if there's a 1v1 situation) Some coaches have accepted it and love it while others hate it but I think in 18-24 months the real results will show.
     
    stphnsn, CoachP365 and Rekyrts repped this.
  11. stphnsn

    stphnsn Member+

    Jan 30, 2009
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Do you have a link to the document, or can you share it?
     
  12. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 12, 2010
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Playing devils advocate-what happens when the HS team gets a new coach with a new system? Will players from the youth system still fit in?
     
  13. Rekyrts

    Rekyrts New Member

    Sep 7, 2018
    Fair question...
     
  14. coachd24

    coachd24 Member

    Feb 22, 2013
    Club:
    RC Lens
    In my opinion I think they would still fit in at the HS level. Usually you play to your strengths and if they come in with a certain style you'll try and make that work. With that being said, if I were to leave I'm 99% sure the club would go back to trying to win every game and tournament at the expense of development or hire an overpriced training company with coaches that treat it like a PE class.
     
    rca2 repped this.
  15. rca2

    rca2 Member+

    Nov 25, 2005
    Good point. IMO good youth coaches like most HS coaches have the same idea of what good soccer is. The problem is that no youth coach has to settle for compromise between ideal and reality as much as the typical HS coach. The match to training ratio is too high to allow the kind of training schedules club coaches have. So they don't have many options.
     

Share This Page