What We Have Learned From the VAR Debacle 

Football is constantly evolving. Whether it is at youth level or in the Premier League, developments are always being put forward to improve the world’s most popular sport. As Leon Jackson wrote here in his article ‘Collaboration and the Future of the Game’, even coaches are coming together to discuss how best to advance the training of upcoming players. The biggest discussion currently happening in the professional game is whether the Premier League should introduce the Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) system that is now commonplace in rugby and cricket. The majority of teams in England’s top league don’t believe it should be introduced, and voted against using VAR in the Premier League next season. The VAR debacle has thrown up a lot of questions about technology’s role in the beautiful game. 

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Probably the most famous condition of ANY conditioned game, has to be the ‘one, two touch rule. Everyone has had a coach that has enforced that rule at some point in their career. I’ve done it numerous times…”We’ll play like Barcelona”…my false hope only outweighed by my naivety to how much we are diluting t6he decision making process for players.

The rational behind the condition is sound enough. When you are limited to two touch for example, players must scan before they receive, take a good touch in the direction they wish to play in or a touch to deceive/protect the ball before playing a pass to a team mate. Players are forced, through the constraint, to support team mates when in possession, providing as many passing angles and opportunities as possible. Finally, the tempo of the practice should be intense.

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Considering the pressures and expectancy of winning, generating successes and most importantly the rewards success brings within the modern sporting environment. The burden and weight placed upon youth coaches to succeed and generate successes with teams and/or with athletes are ever existent within youth sports. Reluctantly, the capability of HOW an athlete and/or team are capable of executing such accomplishments (The Process) are commonly overlooked.  The success, defined by some as “Winning” (The Outcome) is an accumulation of pressures and eagerness to internally pursue self-fulfillment from victories records, trophies, feeding their own ego or incredibly please parents. Objectively approaching youth sports within such approach and manner potentially impedes and over-shadows countless, invaluable short & long-term developmental benefits.   It’s imperative that coaches when acquiring a new team, or approaching a new season, to be embracing youth sports parents. In order, to develop an effective collaboration (Athletic Triangle) and enhances a child’s learning and provide a positive sporting experience.  It might be beneficial for coaches to have a discussion with parents (Planning Parents Meeting) clarifying why the coaches selected certain coaching methodologies and techniques, and how beneficial that may be in the short term and more importantly long term. Nevertheless, coaches such approach such topic cautiously and purposefully allowing all stakeholders to become accustomed to different approaches and activates. Research suggests that some coaches may need to prove such approach to parents, peers and, organization, thus creating a better understanding of such approach.

Personal experiences: 

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Wow... How interesting to see enthusiastic coaches at elite academies sit together and share ideas of how they see the future of the game. With the introduction of the Elite Coaches programme it would be interesting to see if there were any coaches who would hold back, those who would trade their team's secrets and what would be the takeaway from such a course aimed at not only developing the football brain but the person as the engine.

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Hi all,

Just a quick post to remind coaches and players that we are still in the online football coaching community and we continue to build what we believe to be the next wave of online content to engage both coaches and players alike. It's a difficult task juggling family, job, studies and other ventures such as this (not in that particular order!) as many of you will know, but with a real passion for the game and the development of young people in the sport, it's important that ideas and new approaches are shared amongst like minded individuals who are looking to challenge their own football philosophy.

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Saul Isaksson-Hurst, Premier League academy coach and founder of mypersonalfootballcoach.com emphasizes the importance of soccer practice to create, support and develop vivacious learners.

I read an interesting article recently “Why Practicing Practicing from an Early Age is so Important” (http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/why_practicing_practicing_from_an_early_age_is_so_important )

This article looked at an Australian study where the practice habits of young musicians, aged 7-9, were tracked over a 3 year period. The researchers focused on how effectively young learners could self-regulate and direct their own practice. The study found that while the teachers helped students identify what to practice, the students weren't very clear how to practice. Students weren't also able to effectively notice their errors and monitor the quality of their practice. This article made me think, firstly about the importance of soccer practice in young footballers and secondly how we can help create and develop good habits in young players in their attitude/relationship to soccer practice.

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   Webte: https://thesportinginfluencerblog.wordpress.com

 

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Two players start from opposite cones to play lateral wall passes with goalkeepers first and then with other two players in vertical; the finish in mini-goals after the second low or volley return pass (1). The two reds must then play 1 vs 1 against the player they passed the ball before dribbling from the center (2). In the end there's a free player who decides which of two team will be in possession to play 3 vs 2 (3). The possession team will decide where to try score between the two main goals. Exercise from blog lucamistercalcio.com

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Yes, you read that right. The US have banned heading in U10 age groups. I love our friends across the pond, but they do make some strange decisions http://www.skysports.com/football/news/12096/10062987/us-soccer-bans-headers-among-u10-age-group

 Maybe a little less surprising, however, is the way this ruling came about. From a lawsuit. Back in August 2014, a group of parents and players filed against US Soccer with negligence when treating head injuries. Unfortunate circumstances. I can't comment on the ins and outs but it seems a huge shame it had to result in a lawsuit...

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Here’s what has been on my mind lately, written in no particular order:

 

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Futsal. Still very much a misunderstood concept in England. It's been described as many things, my personal favourite being 'jumped up 5 a side'. Different rules, countless benefits and the differing role of the goalkeeper. Just a few of the arguments against that statement. If you do hold this view, I would urge you to go and watch a live Futsal match. You will see the difference! I found this when taking my badges. Like any other coaching course, you get to play the game. All of a sudden, the ‘futsal’ I'd played a few years previous didn't seem like it was Futsal at all! In fact it was 5 a side with a few different rules.

Unfortunately, futsal hasn't had the exposure and enthusiasm it so desperately needs. Of course, if you follow the right people on Twitter and go to the right places, you will get the impression that futsal is big in England. It's not. On the contrary, if you visit your local grassroots football pitch on a Sunday morning, or your local leisure centre, I doubt you'd find much knowledge of futsal, if any at all. 

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Since the world is going to be rid of Sepp Blatter sooner or later (hopefully sooner), I am going to step up and officially volunteer my services as the next head of FIFA. I'm sure that it will be a difficult job--re-building the world's confidence in our governing body--but with common sense, my vast knowledge of soccer and sarcasm, and a willingness to take money from just about anybody, I'm positive that I will be up for the task.
 
And with that in mind, here are the first three things that I plan to get rid of right away, not because the soccer world is demanding it, but simply because it bugs me....

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Yet again, we’ve reached that point in the year where we’ve been without competitive football for so long; Jeff Stelling’s emotional outbursts along with that Match of the Day theme tune have almost become necessities to true football fans, coaches and players alike. With just days to go before the Premier League restarts it’s unpredictable roller-coaster, I’ve counted down 12 Premier League new-comers we’re all looking forward to casting our eyes upon.

10. Alexander Mitrovic (Newcastle)

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Photo © 2014 Marc Puig used under CC Attribution 2.0 license. Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcpuig/13570498535/sizes/l

With one of the most anticipated Champions league games in a long time, Juve face Barcelona in Munich in a fixture where many give a rejuvenated Juve very little chance of an upset against the ‘masters’. With Juventus set up as quite a narrow 4411 against Barca’s well known and regularly adopted flexible 433; we are all set for a fascinating contest.

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Photo © 2012 Marco Oliani used under CC Attribution 2.0 license. Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/_uomouranio_/12600995025/sizes/l

Welcome coaches!

First and foremost, a huge welcome to all coaches who have chosen to take this long awaited venture to join us in developing coaches far and wide in their search for expertise in the field of football coaching. I for one, have wondered if we would ever get this show started and actually be able to push this content out to the masses, yet here we are, finally ready to deliver!