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This was first published in The Technician, judge their philosophy and assess their relationship which is found at www.uefa.com. We have talked with the players." about having a coaching philosophy in these pages. Technician: Louis, in his usual direct fashion, Here are the philosophies of some of the best, with hits a nail on the head ­ and one that, if you'll comments from The Technician. Some food for excuse a mixed metaphor, is a thorn in the thought... technician's side. At one club, Louis was on his way to the door when the players publicly asked him to stay. Their wish was granted ­ Arsène Wenger and rewarded with a league title. But there is "You must love the game and want to share not always justice in terms of rewards for good with the players a certain way of life, a way of work or attempts to implant a new philososeeing soccer." phy. Sadly, the majority of coaches are judged Technician: This wonderful sentence provokes purely on results and, in many cases, purely all sorts of reflections on the degree of dedion immediate results rather than on their level cation that needs to go with the love of the of performance or their contributions to entergame, the sacrifices that the technician is taining games of soccer. required to make, the importance of having a clear vision of the sort of soccer you want your team to play, and the management Rafael Benítez and leadership qualities that will enable the "I am always questioning, always looking for technician to carry out that vision. What's new solutions, new ways to proceed." more, the "sharing" aspect neatly highlights Technician: This is another short sentence that the need to transmit your vision, your sochighlights one of the crucial areas in coachcer lifestyle, to the players and the "team being. Rafa expresses the need for the technihind the team." Arsène is one of the game's cian to have a restless mind, to be curious, most stimulating philosophers ­ constantly to question facets of the job that are taken offering comments that provoke profound for granted and to search for new solutions reflection. Talking of reflections, his obserto perennial challenges. In other words, his vation "the coach's face is a mirror to the comment succinctly describes coaching as a health of the team" not only expresses an lifelong learning process and a profession in opinion that is often graphically verified by which the feeling that you know it all is one TV pictures, but also underlines the techniof the great danger signs. cian's need to watch his body language and to transmit positive messages to players, Giovanni Trapattoni directors and the public via the media. "With a club I was a sculptor ­ with the national team I'm a blender." Sir Alex Ferguson Technician: This is a typically wonderful and "Playing wing backs, while using three central colorful sentence by "Trap" that highlights defenders, represents a far less aggressive attackthe differences between club and national ing philosophy than operation with wingers." team coaching. The sculptor bases his dayTechnician: The sentence illustrates how Sir Alex to-day work on shaping a chunk of rock or has built teams that reflect a club credo of metal into a work of art ­ in other words, playing attractive attack-minded soccer based designing and building a team and developnot only on wingers but also on overlapping ing the players. The blender can select his runs by adventurous fullbacks. But this is ingredients but, when he has them together, more than a structural approach. It represents only has time to hit the switch and mix a philosophy that responds to the wishes of them into instant food. He has to be good the supporters and to the passion for soccer at building quickly and shrewdly with a that traditionally has underpinned the club. view to producing effective performances at The need to transmit the right messages in the highest possible level. Then, success for the dressing room and on the training field is the national team coach in qualifying camnicely expressed by another of Sir Alex's firmly paigns entails an abrupt change of scenario held convictions: "The drive, the hunger, the in terms of getting the group together for an passion must be inside you, because players extended period of cohabitation at the end need to recognize that you care." of a grueling club season. The blender then has to deal with a very different mix. the best soccer were less vulnerable than others." Technician: This was Rinus, one of soccer coaching's genuine gurus, taking a typically analytical look at the ingredients of winning sides. This sentence had a factual basis: Teams designed to be pragmatic and functional are less vulnerable. But Rinus's conviction was that the teams equipped to win titles were those who were prepared to take the initiative and to permit themselves an element of risk. Defensive strategies can win games, he always maintained, but they rarely win titles. He also insisted on the importance of positive dynamics within the group and the value of leadership qualities ­ among players as well as the coach: "If you have the leader, others adapt."

DoYouHave

Carlos Alberto Parreira

"When we talk about stars, I don't like those who just make smoke, I like those who make fire ­ the ones who perform." Technician: Carlos grew up in an environment that has, traditionally, offered immense riches in terms of solo ball skills. But "tricksters" who make smoke but no fire do not impress him; rather, he is a firm believer that each player should contribute his individual box of tricks to the collective team effort. He respects players with talent, but he wants talent to be translated into team performance. "Top players do things that others don't expect," he comments ­ and he places great value on creativity, with the proviso that playmaking roles offer no excuses for laziness or for abstaining from the collective effort.

Roy Hodgson

"The modern coach needs a philosophy, an expert eye and intuition." Technician: Eleven words that provoke a lot of thought. The philosophy has to be created, developed and carried out. The expert eye and the intuition are linked with soccer know-how, innate talent and experience accumulated over the years. But, amid today's trend toward sports science and performance analysis, are the expert eye and intuition being undervalued? Scientific input is based on what already has happened; intuition is an anticipation of what happens next and what needs to be done in order to shape a team's destiny.

Otto Rehhagel

Louis van Gaal

"I do not think it is fair to judge coaches purely on results. You have to see how they work,

Rinus Michels

"Those who focused on the best result rather than

"I am the only man in Athens who is allowed to drive in the bus lane." Technician: This comment, made at a UEFA coaching event staged in the wake of Greece's victory at EURO 2004, is a lovely

sample of Otto's great sense of fun. He was 65 when he enabled the Greeks to don the European crown for the first time, yet he never fails to transmit a contagious youthful enthusiasm that creates a mood of confidence in and around the dressing room. His humorous comment illustrates two concepts: first, that the fun element should never be allowed to disappear from soccer and second, that, in coaching, job satisfaction should not be equated exclusively to financial recompense. The longer-lasting rewards for a job well-done are intangibles based on admiration and public affection.

José Mourinho

"I use a global method. Yes, I use direct methods when preparing our organization, but I also use guided discovery where I create the practice, dictate the aim, and the players come up with different solutions." Technician: José has demonstrated that, in getting the best out of players, modern approaches on the training ground and carefully thought-out coaching methodology have an important role to play. One of his talents is to set targets and achieve them. "You need to have a clear philosophy to know what you want and how to get it."

both players and coaches. Arsène Wenger also believes that, in major competitions such as the UEFA Champions League, mental strength is a key asset. Fear of failure rapidly translates into diluted ambitions. As Vanderlei also insists: "Victory goes to those who are faster ­ to develop, to improve, to play."

Fabio Capello

Luíz Felipe Scolari

"Everything must be kept simple ­ do not complicate what is a simple business, a simple, beautiful game." Technician: "Big Phil" expresses one of the concepts that has kept Brazilian soccer at the top of the tree. But anybody who knows him will testify that his method of "keeping things simple" is based on large doses of dedication and hard work. His comment supports the theory that it takes a degree of genius to create simplicity and that, if the greatest teams are often described as "making it look easy," it is because a great deal of work has gone into the creation of structures and environments in which talents can be expressed at their maximum levels.

Gérard Houllier

"Win as a team ­ lose alone." Technician: In few words, Gérard highlights one of the stark realities of the coaching profession. Despite the camaraderie, it is essentially a solitary, lonely job. The ultimate responsibilities that go with the role include accepting not only defeats but also the consequences of those defeats. The coach has to provide explanations to the players, to the other echelons within the club and to the public via the media. One of the coach's major challenges is to set the team back on track after a run of poor results.

"When you are a player, all you have to do is think about your own game, your fitness, your diet, etc. ­ you train, you go home, and that's it. But when you become a manager, you have to think about the physical and mental preparation of the whole squad, building up team spirit, being aware of medical issues. Above all, you have to develop your leadership skills." Technician: The transition from playing to coaching is a path that has been trodden by the majority of modern technicians. Fabio's description highlights the importance of working toward a vision while developing management and, above all, leadership qualities. In summary, without a clear philosophy of the game, a coach is like a ship without a rudder. Of course, players and circumstances can affect performances, but in the long run, the technician is there to convey his beliefs and affect the soccer behavior of his players. One of Andy Roxburgh's favorite proverbs comes from Spain: "It is not the same to talk of bulls as to be in the bullring." Our leading coaches not only have succeeded in the soccer bullring, but also have enough wisdom to articulate their views about that experience.

Vanderlei Luxemburgo

Ottmar Hitzfeld

"Major changes have taken place during the last 10 years. There was more space and the passing was longer ­ now it's quick, short passing, and every coach is well organized." Technician: This is a significant comment by Ottmar because, despite the experience accumulated during decades of coaching, he has taken the time to step back and analyze the way the game has been evolving. He believes that coaches also need to evolve in terms of being aware of trends, deciding how to react to them and being open to changes in playing styles and lifestyles. The quick, short-passing game he mentions is epitomized by the current FC Barcelona team ­ but to what extent can this style be implanted elsewhere?

"To be afraid of losing removes the willingness to win." Technician: Vanderlei, whose teams play creative, attacking soccer, believes that the fear factor is the greatest enemy to a winning mentality ­ in

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Multi-Sport Athletes

for 10 years (Salmela, 1998). Unfortunately, parents and coaches in many sports still approach training with an attitude best characterized as the "peaking by Friday" approach (Balyi and Hamilton, 1999). We now know that a long-term commitment to training is required to produce elite athletes in all sports. A specific and well-planned training, competition and recovery regime will ensure optimum development throughout an athlete's career. Ultimately success comes from training and performing well over the long term rather than winning in the short term. There is no shortcut to success in athletic preparation. Sources 1. http://www.soccerperformance.org/training/ overtrainingcont.htm 2. Carrie Weitz 3. Istavan Balyi's Long Term Athletic Development Manual 4. Rockville Center Lightning Boys U-15 Team 2010 5. Rockville Center Red Devils Boys U-14 Team 2010 6. The NOGA Company 57

Marcello Lippi

"You have to make each player feel equally useful, but not indispensable." Technician: Marcello's comment is a neat way of summarizing the sometimes-complex task of blending personalities into an effective unit and motivating players without taking their feet off the ground. At the national team level, the ability to take a country's top individuals and build them into a workforce with a strong team ethic is one of the major challenges for the technician. Marcello also comments: "Many coaches have had difficult relationships with great attackers ­ at the end of the career the player thanks the coach for helping him to understand the whole game." In the meantime, the coach has to find the optimal method of getting the best from each individual. Soccer Journal January-February 2011

the related training, playing and rest ratios needed for long-term development. 5. Youth coaches should campaign for all tournaments to become one-game-a-day events. 6. In selecting a sporting menu for their children, parents must educate themselves about the athletic demands placed on the body and the associated need for periods of rest if optimal development in any sport is going to occur. Situations in which multiple competitive games are played on the same day should be avoided at all costs. Coaches should seek to enhance their understanding of the physical and psychological demands of their game and in so doing should try to educate the parents within their group Scientific research has concluded that it takes eight to 12 years of training for a talented athlete to reach elite levels (Bloom, 1985; Ericsson et al., 1993; Ericsson and Charness, 1994). This is called the 10-year or 10,000-hour rule. For athletes, coaches and parents this translates as slightly more than three hours of practice daily

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