Strategies for Winning in Football

Football seems like a very simple sport, but it is only so with regard to the basic game play and rules. The sport can be quite complex when it comes to professional level or the World Cup.

Planning an Offense

The team in possession of the ball gets on the offensive. It launches an attack by employing various strategies depending on the type of players and their skills. In general, the team which is on the offensive passes and moves. When you have the ball, keep moving; passing or dribbling is the means to achieve that. This rule also applies to the opposite team’s players nearest to the player with the ball – keep moving, look for opportunities and provide passing lanes for your teammate.

Pulling a Fast One: Move Fast

Another good technique is to pass the ball and move quickly towards an open space nearer to the goal. This creates a passing lane, and thus puts pressure on the opposition on the defensive; now they need to defend and counter the attack as fast as possible.

Switch-ON Your Attack

This technique involves giving a long pass to the part of the field which has less defenders; it could be towards the opposite goal or your own goal post. This gives the team a chance to re-group and switch-on another attack. Continue reading

The Importance Of Recovery & Relaxation For Footballers

After you’ve played that big and important game on a Saturday afternoon and won; your mood is high and you can’t wait to get back into training for your next match. However, before you head straight back onto the pitch on Sunday morning with your training buddies, stop and have a think about whether or not you’ve truly left enough time for your body to recover from the previous day’s game?

It’s absolutely vital that you give yourself time to recover following an intense game of football and generally, we’d suggest you take a full day to relax after a big match … which means no going back on the pitch until Monday!

RelaxationAbove all; spend the day relaxing and making sure any minor injuries are on the mend! How about heading to the local spa with your partner and spending time in a hot tub? The jets and warmth can do absolute wonders for sore muscles and, as well as their healing properties, will ensure you have a nice relaxing day!

Of course, for those of you addicted to training and exercise; there’s no harm in going for a gentle jog but, more than anything, make sure you don’t push yourself too much! It’s all too tempting to jump straight back into your training routine but we can’t stress enough how important it is to take time out!

You really don’t want to risk sustaining an injury through your body not having recovered enough and even the smallest of injury could see you off the pitch for a few matches … don’t risk it! Take a day out to relax and rest and you’ll be in much better shape come your next session.

in Tips | 295 Words

Is There Real Value Transferring Players To New Football Clubs?

August 31 is a big day for the Premier League and the millions of fans that follow the league – transfer deadline day. The biggest players in the game are aggressively pursued by the biggest football clubs, which makes the time leading up to as well as after deadline day all the more exciting.

Teams that sign a new player or agree to buy out that player’s contract with another club are, in their own way, betting on that player clicking with the rest of their current squad. Many Premier League teams bet on transfers this summer, with some deals arranged partly due to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Mario BalotelliOne of the biggest transfers arranged before the deadline involved Mario Balotelli, who joined the Liverpool Reds as one of the team’s top strikers. His presence on the pitch helped the team clinch a 3-0 win over Tottenham, even though he didn’t score a goal.

The 24 year old broke that goalless drought in Liverpool’s first Champions League game against PFC Ludogorets Razgrad. There’s definitely a bright future for Balotelli in Liverpool – the team made a smart bet.

radamel falcao manchester unitedRadamel Falcao was definitely a big name on the market, and one of the last players to transfer in time for the deadline. The striker was part of an aggressive series of transfers by Manchester United, and debuted in the team’s 4-0 win over Queen’s Park Rangers.

Falcao is praised by fans and football experts alike as one of the world’s most natural and gifted strikers. The Red Devils are betting that some of Falcao’s magic will help the team recover from a disappointing year in the 2013-14 Premier League season.

Transfers are an opportunity for football clubs to start fresh, and lay the groundwork for a squad of players that can win in the following season. The 2014-15 Premier League season is only a few weeks underway, but already many players that were transferred in the closing days of the deadline are impacting the game. As for who emerges on top at the end of the year – right now, that’s anyone’s bet.

Football Betting

Outright betting

Outright betting involves placing a bet on a chosen team winning an entire tournament or league instead of a single match or fixture. These odds can be available months in advance of a league or football tournament commencing, and are often referred to as antepost odds.

Example of outright betting

Irish bookmaker, Paddy Power, offers outright odds on the FIFA World Cup with Spain and Brazil priced favourites to win the tournament at 5/1. A bet on either of these teams winning the tournament will therefore payout the specified odds if either one of these goes on to lift the World Cup.
Football BettingMatch Betting

Arguably the most popular and widespread football fixed odds betting market is match betting. Here the punter must correctly predict which team will win a given match or fixture. Winning odds will be posted for both teams and the bet will simply win or lose depending on the outcome of the match. Due to the fact that a significant number of football matches in draws, a third ‘draw’ option is offered on all football match bets.

Match betting example

Ladbrokes offers match betting markets on a Champions League match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. The odds are displayed as Home (Real Madrid) 13/8, Draw 5/2 and Away (Bayern) 11/10. A football fan can therefore bet on any possible outcome in the match. A bet on Real Madrid winning at odds of 13/8 will therefore pay out at this price if the Spanish side wins the fixture.

Goalscorer Betting

The goalscorer betting markets allow punters to bet on a particular player scoring a goal during a football match.

Three different markets – 1st, last and anytime

There are three variations of goalscorer betting with punters able to bet on 1st goalscorer, last goalscorer or anytime goalscorers. The 1st and last goalscorer markets generally offer higher odds than anytime goalscorer betting markets, with the latter offering lower odds but the opportunity to make more than one winning bet in a single match.

Example of goalscorer betting

Bet365 offers odds of 7/1 on Ryan Giggs scoring the first goal of a match between Manchester United and Arsenal. The same odds are offered on Giggs scoring the last goal of the match, while a goal at any time by Giggs pays out at 4/1. If a punter places a bet on Giggs scoring the final goal of the match at a price of 7/1 and Giggs obliges with a score, the punter will earn a payout at the specified odds.

The good odds on offer in the goalscorer betting markets encourage punters to place bets on several players scoring a goal during a match. This can be particularly useful in the anytime goalscorer betting markets, where a punter can earn a payout from several different players. Backing multiple players in the 1st or last goalscorer markets is a useful way of hedging bets, but will ultimately offer a lower return if one of the selections scores as predicted. Continue reading

Giving Feedback to the Players?

No matter the age most people continually look for feedback and acceptance from their peers and mentors. As players mature ,hopefully there is an intrinsic approval instead of external approval others. When this is found approval comes from an internal feeling of acceptance from what the individual wants instead of the external opinion of what others want.

Unfortunately, most kids do not think this way. One only needs to look as far as peer pressure to understand that kids look to each other and adults for approval and acceptance. That is why a quality child may be seen out doing things he or she may not normally do; they are looking for acceptance and approval. As a coach it is important to understand this and provide feedback to players.

giving feedbackMost players will not have the ability to understand if they are doing well or not without feed back. The same can be said about being successful or not and being skilled or not skilled. It is the job of the coach to inform players on how they are playing, what they are doing well with and where they are struggling. It is equally important that a coach not always dwell on the negative. The nature of coaching is one of continually trying to fix what is going wrong, so often the only message players hear is fix this or fix that. The sub text of this is that if something always needs to be fixed then something is not right. Players can internalize they are doing something wrong (and they probably are) but will forget to internalize what they are doing right (hopefully many good things), which can lead to a negative environment. Be careful to continually express not only their flaws but also their strengths.

One successful approach is expressing positives and negatives as a sandwich. First say something positive, then inform them on how to correct it and finish with what will happen when they do the positive behavior. Good, bad, good is the way to go. For instance when talking to a player about defense, one approach might be “You did a nice job of going hard to the ball. But instead of lunging and easily taking yourself out of the play, curve your run to force play and not eliminate yourself the play. By doing this you will dictate play and keep the team defense intact” At half time one approach might be, “Team, we played well in the first half and possessed for a good amount of time. We did a good job checking to the ball (the positive), but our focus must be on playing that ball quickly with two touches and receiving across the body. (the coaching point) If we do this we will finish off the scoring chances we’ve previously had (how it will be effective)”. The good is expressed about the possession, the bad is mentioned as receiving across the body, the good is mentioned in the finishing opportunities. Ending with a focus on what needs to be adjusted for the second half is a great way to keep fresh in the players minds what the improvement focus should be for the second half of play.

As the players move in and out of the game, often the only time to fix mistakes is through discussions with the player. This may mean some of the action is missed during the game, however it is the job of the coach to improve the team, not to watch the game. The coach will still see much of the game but hopefully improve player performance along the way. When players come off the field, take the time to tell them quickly what they did well and where they can improve. This will foster in them a sense that the coach really cares about what they are doing and it will help them to improve as the games and as the season progress.

No matter the age this approach will work. As the players get older, it can be helpful to be more direct and just tell the player what he needs to do better. At times it is needed and as players get to the ages of sixteen, seventeen, eighteen being blunt is often needed to get a point home. However, sandwiching negatives with positives will always be a good approach and can still be used.

The Point of Focused Training

The point of focused training is to develop players who understand the game and can play the entire game with little input from the coach. Focused training will teach the players the different aspects of the game, the subtleties of soccer, and how to succeed as the game changes around them.

Soccer is a multi faceted game; very complex with eleven components on each side continually shifting and changing as a ball moves between them. At the same time the game is very simple; use feet to put the ball in the back of the net. In this game success depends largely on the amount of training that takes place outside of the game. Soccer is a game that simply flows; there are no time outs, offenses to run, or coaches calling plays. To be successful the players must know what they are doing before the game begins. This can be accomplished thru a series of focused training sessions with competitive players focused at those training sessions. What will follow is success on the field by players who have mastered the game both technically and tactically by working with coaches in a structured environment.

This is the goal of the coach and trainer; set up a structured environment in which the players can become technical and tactical masters of the game. This structured environment must be planned before practice, written down and then executed. The game is too complex to simply show up and “run a practice”.

Within the structured environment there should be plenty of fun, however to train a competitive team it must be competitive fun, not goof around fun. Additionally, with in the structure of the sessions creativity should be encouraged as to keep play from being predictable, however the creativity should come within the structured focus of the session as to keep the focus on the skills that are to be developed within that practice session.

Player development: What is it and at what is to be the focus at different ages?

Player development can best be defined as the growth of a player both in their playing abilities but it is deeper than that. After all, though the game is taken quite seriously and studied with great detail, it is still a game. Therefore whatever is learned from the game should be transitioned to life outside of the game.

With this in mind the development of the player takes on four main qualities; technical, tactical physical and psychological. When looking at player development, these four areas should always be considered, however it must be understood they vary greatly based on age.

Therefore, in order for expectations to be realistic for players of all ages, it must be understood that at different ages, different focuses of development are needed.

U-12 and under

Through the age of eleven it is important to focus on technical development. The muscles are learning how to work and they will retain muscle memory as the player advances in age. The focus at this age should be on ball skill and creativity with most or all of the physical training taking place with a ball. In regards to winning, it should be secondary to skill development. As the player approaches the u12 age more tactical insight is brought into training, however the focus is still technique. For more ideas on development look at the curriculum for each age group.

u-13 through u-19

From the ages of twelve through around nineteen the focus begins to shift towards tactical training. Technique learned at younger ages improves through tactical training, teaching the players how the game is played. At this point physical training can become an area in and of itself in areas with a focus on such areas as speed training, strength training and endurance training. This is the age the player learns the “way the game is played”, so focus on tactics while teaching technique. For more ideas on development look at the curriculum for each age group.

U-19 and above

From nineteen on if a player is playing competitively his job on the field is fairly well definded and his skill is fairly developed, as is his knowledge of the game, therefore it is important to work on higher level tactical training specific to his role on the team. Functional training is also important focusing on technical or tactical skills specific to the players role on the team.

Finally it is important to realize that at whatever age the development is taking place, whatever is learned in regards to competitiveness, fair play, work ethic and so forth should be transitioned from the field to the “real world”. If this can be accomplished not only will successful players begin to succeed on the field, they will also do well off the field and true development will have taken place.

Characteristics of a good coach

Three key components of a Coach

1. Charisma – Be passionate and excitable; show them you love the game
2. Passion – Show your players you are committed to this game and their development
3. Humor – Have fun with the game, let them see that you enjoy the games and training.

Four Values of a leader

These are the core values of any leader. As a coach, you must lead. Incorporate these into your life.

Courage – mental, psychological
Intelligence – good judgment, common sense, experience
Inspiration, Enthusiasm – charisma, humor
Communication – eloquent, well spoken, understand how to relate to the person whom they are speaking with.

Keys to Growing as a Coach.

To grow – you must be humble – admit weakness, know where to grow.
Leadership comes from the having the freedom to not do it, but doing it anyway. (i.e. hard work)
Pressure is a privilege: it is a privilege to be a coach; don’t take it for granted
Team Concept: Each player must be responsible. This is important in all aspects of the game, especially important in comebacks.

Key concepts of a successful team

Fitness is number one: it is the biggest difference between the good and great teams. Get fit and maintain it. It’s hard to get fit, its easy to stay there.
Understand the rhythm of the game; it changes. Your game must change with it.
Go all out: Take a player on, don’t be afraid of contact.
Have physical courage.
Being liked is not as important as being respected.
You choose to be unbeatable: don’t let anyone dominate you; it starts with a winning mentality.
The first touch is in your head;.it’s all technical skill. Know where you are going before you receive, then do it.
Create the desire to win; play relentlessly.
Improvement only comes with a constant continual drive for greatness.
Coaching must be demanding of their players. Players must be demanding of their coaches. When these expectation coexist greatness will happen.
You play like you practice, so compete fiercely in practice

The will to win is overrated, it is the will to prepare to win that makes a difference
-Bobby Knight-

Key attributes of a successful coach

Make everything competitive. Develop a desire to win in your players. Make winning and losing matter.
Don’t be intense all the time. As the season changes bring out your calmer side. Start hard and intense, then lighten up.
One v one is not natural, especially for women; girls need encouragement to take players on. Teach them it is o.k. to beat another player.
Teach them defense and to be dominant at it.. “Don’t be a hummingbird, be a hawk. A hummingbird just hangs around the ball, a hawk dives in. “get stuck in!”-Anson Dorrance.
Be a positive motivator; whenever possible put the positive spin on the game.
Make game criticism separate from player criticisms. Separate game mistakes from personal mistakes. Make sure they know you still like them even if they make mistakes on the field.
Teach them to be artists and warriors. Be creative and be dangerous . Be artistic and deceptive.

Wayne Bridge Bravely Quits England

Wayne Bridge has decided that he cannot be in the same team as John Terry.  This probably shouldn’t come as any surprise – he’s clearly devastated by recent events, not just the loss of his friend and the respect of his child’s mother but through no fault of his own, every away match he plays in will come with ridicule he simply doesn’t deserve.

On the face of it, this is the best thing for England.  Bridge has never really performed that well for his country, often looking error-prone (which is not unusual in this England team) and should, as we’re told  Ashley Cole be fit in time, he would not have played anyway.

Wayne BridgeIt gives a chance for a couple of young, promising players in Stephen Warnock and Leighton Baines to stake their claim and give Capello just enough time to decide whether they have the mentality for international football should they be called upon.

Make no mistake, this is a brave decision by Bridge.  He has already lost more than anyone else in this affair – a friend, the mother to his child, self-respect, respect of away fans and now his chance at an international career.

It’s odd to think that in other areas of life, it would be the one who committed the sin that would be punished – Terry would be the one obliged step down from the national team – but in football, authority of winning exceeds any moral imperative.

By ending his international career now, Bridge has stifled the moral question which was never really addressed by the media at large and had yet to be raised amongst the players in the England team.

Only Wayne Bridge or John Terry could have ended the potential for moral conflict within the squad and for this, we should thank Wayne Bridge.