It’s like everywhere I look in American soccer media, and to quite an extent, the English as well, the advice being thrown around on player development is the worst thing you can follow.
The inspiration for this article came from Twitter via a coach posting the following activity he runs (& recommends).
I saw the title and thought; “ok, let’s see how this guy suggests playing out from the back can be done”.
And then I read the information.
There was absolutely nothing there. No teaching, no structure whatsoever, as to how to play out of the back.
It was yet another drill with no link to a vision of the game – no structure of any kind.
It was another free-for-all, just “let the players figure it out” approach.
I’m not gonna lie, this stuff pisses me off. But I kept my cool.
So I followed up with the author to see if that was indeed the case, and he responded in the affirmative.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, if this is what you indiscriminately believe and preach, you are creating and passing along terrible players.
You are ruining players, you are ruining your own development as a coach, you are making the unsuspecting soccer consumer dumber, and I can all but guarantee your end product looks like the second part of this video: Chaos!
I can understand coaches that are just starting out making mistakes like this. In fact, it could even be argued that making these early mistakes could be important to a coach’s development.
But, a coach should evolve from being an enabler of chaos.
We can help with that. (But make sure you thoroughly vet us)
More than meets the eye?
Perhaps, I thought, I was being too judgemental from that one graphic the author posted. Well not really, but I wanted to be cordial and see if I can glean anything new from this man’s soccer worldview.
So, some more exchanges ensued and others joined in.
Eventually, and predictably, the discussion moved towards the topic of “guided discovery”.
That will be the theme of an upcoming article.
And if you’ve followed 3four3 for any length of time, you can probably guess what the thesis will be:
As conventionally understood, [buzzword / meme / jargon] is a big steaming pile of crap.