|Football coaching in Brisbane
Every Monday morning there will be post mortems by the football public. The Referees are the group of people in our game who usually wear the brunt of the critics, as do the hard working committee members at clubs. It goes without saying the coach’s of the losing sides on any given weekend more often than not become the target of abuse by all the “coaches” who attended to support their favourite team. It makes one wonder why Referees and Coaches actually take up the positions in the first place. I am not aware of too many coaches that are engaged on a fulltime basis in the Brisbane Premier League, Division One or Two, despite the fact that many of us may as well be full time because there is always something on.
Generally speaking the clubs Senior/Head Coach is involved in the juniors at the club in some capacity. This same coach is more often than not involved with assisting the other coaches at the club in an effort to introduce programmes that will ensure that a pre-determined set of objectives are being met. On Tuesdays, and Thursdays the coach is working with the clubs senior team, from about 7pm to 9pm, but before that he may be involved with the clubs youth team, or at least making an appearance in an effort to encourage the clubs youngsters and show them that they are being watched and that they will be considered for first team when the opportunity presents itself. How else would a talented 16 or 17 year old come to the coach’s attention? Many Premier League teams currently field players in this age group. On a Friday evening coaches’ will be spotted at Premier Division two and the odd Division One match in search of a “Rough Diamond” or two. Then the weekend starts and that same coach will be seen observing his own team plus opponents who his team will confront the following weekend. Somewhere in between all this the coach has meetings with the club physios (When the club can afford one) and juggling his playing list to cover for injuries and/or suspensions. Talking about suspensions, the coach is likely to make an appearance or two at the disciplinary committee hearings to provide support for his/her players. The coach would also follow up on players who through injury are absent. There are numerous telephone calls made to check on players’ well being, and even visits to the Hospitals. The coach may even have some obligations toward the clubs sponsors. All this without taking into account the administration duties and record keeping. Then there are match analysis, and a myriad of other things to do, but I guess you get my drift.
Coaches throughout Brisbane all have different qualities and styles. It would be a boring game if every coach thought and did the same thing. Coaching courses are meant to be guides to ensuring that the principles of the game are adhered to. In the end ones coaching style is developed not just by the courses one attends but by the experiences one has and by being innovative. Regardless of whether one has a FIFA; UEFA; or FFA licence in the end it is my opinion that these are pieces of paper not unlike a drivers licence.
Regardless of how highly qualified one is one must always be prepared to learn something new and apply same to ones own programme where appropriate. It is my opinion that it is not possible to achieve high standards of play in conventional training sessions. Let’s look at the facts. If your players go out and perform a warm up routine for half an hour, and then another half an hour on a “Keep Possession” format there’s an hour gone! When one rounds off these types of sessions it will become clearly evident that such sessions are regressive. Once again it is only my opinion, but when coaches have their players for just four hours a week there are many facets of the game that are being ignored. In a nutshell, the emphasis is more often than not on fitness at the expense of skill and technique. The training routines should be about the practice of skills. These include natural football fitness movements and effects built into the working formats. In other words at times a coach has to “con” the players into doing something which will achieve the same result when doing it with a ball as opposed to doing it without the ball. Fitness should be used as a supplement to the practice of skills not the other way around. Players need to undertake responsibility for their personal fitness and not think that four hours a week at training will suffice.
Training routines must simulate match conditions. The secret to improving skills lies in repetition formats. These formats allow players to practice different drills without wasting time. There is a misconception that the only way to practice football is to play the actual game. All that is doing is letting players practice bad techniques which develop into habits. My pet hate is watching a school holidays training camp where all the kids are wearing hats. These kids wear hats all through their junior playing days and I ask you: How many players in Brisbane would you deem to be very good headers of the ball? I still witness senior players attacking a high ball with their feet in the BPL! When next you are observing a junior training session ask the coach how much time is spent on heading techniques.
I have just stopped to gather my breath and I note that I have let my passion get ahead of me, so I will conclude by inviting as many of the “Weekend coaches” to offer their knowledge and assistance to the club coaches and or attend a Referees course and contribute to this magnificent game of ours. You are reminded however, that many of us do it for the love of it not for the financial rewards. So if you want to hide behind an alias and post comments on a forum I suggest that you walk a mile in coach’s shoes.
Coaches, Players, and Committee members come and go, but the game is FOREVER!