||Coaching Tips and Spotlight Interview
No coach can “do it all for you”. Something will always come up in the game of football that’s not in the “book”. Hopefully you can use these tips to improve your game but, regardless of the outcome - enjoy your football.
Injury Prevention Tips
Due to the very physical, fast paced and semi-contact nature of football, injuries are a regular occurrence. There are however ways in which the chance of injury can be diminished.
Warm-ups should be practiced as they aim to increase the muscle temperature and range of motion. Performing a warm-up consisting of light aerobic work (e.g. jogging/cycling/skipping), active (or dynamic) stretching (e.g. walking lunges/heel to bum/high knees) and skill drills can dramatically reduce the incidence of muscle strains especially.
More injuries occur when an athlete becomes tired and fatigued. For this reason, conditioning should be a major aspect of any footballers training. This means being fit to play the sport. For example, football players require bouts of sprinting, followed by jogging, walking and sprinting again. Their training therefore should represent this and not involve continuous slow runs.
Resistance or strength training can greatly benefit a player’s performance and also reduce the risk of injury. Football strength is mostly required in the legs, although the core and upper body should not be neglected as they play a role in maintaining balance.
Not performing a thorough cool down is a mistake made too regularly by all but professional players. A cool down serves to reduce muscle aching over the subsequent 48 hours. However, it also has a longer term effect on injury prevention. Research has shown that stretching the muscles following sport will help to reduce the post-exercise tightening of muscles. Over a long period reducing this tightness will help reduce the chance of injury.
With Paul Harris, International Academy Coach with English Premier League Everton FC
Age: 29, but had a hard paper round, so I know I look older!
Title: International Academy Coach.
Qualifications: Final Assesment Uefa A Uefa B Youth Coache.s
Coaching experience: Everton Academy Coach 9 Years with Range from U6 to 15.
Playing experience: Crewe Alexandra 8-19 Semi Professional, Stafford Range,r Leek Town, Newcastle town etc. - more clubs than Jack Nicklaus!
Started coaching at what age? 20 When released from Crewe with Junior League team Stone Dominoes.
Who has been your role model as a coach and why? Dario Gradi and Steve Holland at Crewe, Tosh Farrell at Everton, FA Dick Bate best coach educator.
Who do you see today as the best coach and why? Jose Mourinho effects the game with his tactics and decisions better than anyone I have seen.
What is your ultimate aim in your career? To try and progress to become the best coach in my field even if that is working with younger age groups in Academy or managing someone’s first team.
What age group do you coach at Everton? 9-11
What do you personally look for in a player? Attitude, Desire, Personality and the hunger to learn and develop. As I see players at young age, I think if you have them things we can develop techniques.
What are the 3 key elements that a player must possess to become a professional? Desire, Mental Strength, Coachable.
What single piece of advice would you give to a young player? Never be scared to ask questions of your coaches in the right way. It is important you understand the game and how to play it! Enjoy your football and love playing the game.
What single piece of advice would you give a young coach? Watch good coaches, observe what they do well and see if you can add things to your own personal repertoire.
What are your favourite practices as a coach? Jail Game 2v1v1 and Crazy Shooting teaches the players specifics relating to the game, but great fun and the players don’t want to go home!
What is your favourite system of play (eg 4-4-2) and why? In 8v8 2-4-1 and then 11v11 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. Like to try and play through midfield and out from the back. Over the years have achieved the best results in terms of this philosophy with these systems.
What do you think has made the biggest difference in football coaching methods in the last 10 years? More research into how children learn in schools starting to find its way into football. Change in society, the way children don’t play on the streets, the need for structured practices.
How important is it for young player’s development to tour overseas, and give reasons. It is important for young players to travel and see different cultures. At Everton’s academy we take all our groups away at least once a year from under 8. We learn a great deal from these tours in terms of how the players cope away from home, how mature they are looking after themselves, the ability to mix with a group, the different cultures of the places we are visiting, different customs, different foods and then the different philosophies of the teams that we play! This is relevant to visiting teams who visit our academy who are interested in seeing how we do things.