Let’s suppose that a coach would like his team to consistently execute deliberately orchestrated possession-centered, attacking, attractive, and winning soccer during matches. But it’s just not happening.
Here are the two main possibilities:
1) The players are not at the level of competition.
This is the most cited reason. And it’s most often not true.
To start off, you do not need extra-planetary players! We’d all love to have the best rosters in the world, but you don’t need it.
So long as your opponent’s players aren’t in a totally separate class, and/or the opposing coach isn’t in a different class, a “weak roster” isn’t the reason.
2) The coach is out of his depth for the level of competition.
Now we’re talking!
This is almost never cited as the reason, and it’s most often the case.
Consistently executing this style of play and winning requires not just the will, but a bunch of competencies. Something that easily overwhelms coaches as the speed of play increases.
For instance, it’s one thing to implement a piece of set tactical training in your sessions with U13 girls, and have them execute it in games … but quite another animal at the top boys U16 level, and yet another in the men’s game.
In my experience, pretty much all coaches are already out of their depth with top-level U14 boys. The game just gets too fast for them, and they no longer command the respect of their players.
- Got a player problem? Recruit & Release (this applies at every single level).
- Play against lower level competition; until your players/team demonstrates a mastery of the requisite tactical work.
- Play against lower level competition; until you (the coach) have gotten good enough at executing.
Yes, you all heard me right. Play down!!!!
Everyone is so quick to recommend playing against the best competition, and heaven forbid, playing up! Well, doing it to see “where you’re at” is good, but doing it always is a mistake.