Coach´s role in these days must be excessive. Soccer has improved so much on a physical level that today it gets very difficult to dribble defenders and maintain the intensity of the games reason why it is impossible to forget about physical activities when you want to develop a high-level player, but at the same time coaches need to innovate in the way to teach the COGNITIVE aspect of the game to have players improve their creativity.
The tendencies seen in first division teams like the Atletico de Madrid of Diego Simeone have been pressed to increase the difficulty of attacking, as now the spaces have compressed them as a tactical system. For this reason, the tactical level has been exploded taking care of even the smallest details. The goal is to have everything absolutely controlled. Working from a defensive kick (guide all sequences: even where each player must be placed in a throw-in against). Work it until the opponent has no space to get out or control of the ball. Coach Löw has looked so much at Pep Guardiola that we have already seen how far he has come with all of his teams. Some have copied that, and others have gone to the antithesis, as in the case of Simeone. There are talented players like Koke closed behind, shrinking spaces, trying to unlock the superiorities. Soccer has exploited physics and tactics.
Now what remains to be exploited is the technique, why things happen, how to attack, etc. That's the talent! And it is not yet sufficiently developed. Because in soccer top there is more Simeone's than Guardiola's. You see it in the Premier: what teams play as Guardiola? Three? Four? And what teams play like Simeone or do they leave you the possession of the game?
As a coach you have to analyze and decide which match you want to play. Analyze where your team is and decide if you can compete with the team and dominate 70% or leave the ball and only be responsible for 30%.
The matches when you take responsibility for 30%, you also have options, either you wait for it or you press it up. The teams that want to possess the ball are bound to find themselves blocked (22 players in less 50 meters 11v11, 18 in less than 30 meters 9v9, or 14 players in 20 meters 7v7). To solve this contradiction, you can play against two lines of four and one that marks the pivot, trying to find the spaces quickly changing bands, not playing a line but making a game change to the second or third line. Teams like Barcelona foresees what will be found. Work the positional game against nine defenses, where the center has to drive and divide, always in small spaces exercising the conservation of the ball, position games rehearsing oriented control to leave the opponent away two or three meters.
Then to be able to overcome to so many different types of games, but more than anything to be able to translate the indications of the coach to the field of play, a player is required to know how to “profile” in 360 degrees, even if an individual can play for both sides / both “profiles”, we need to stimulate creativity and the cognitive aspect of the game.
We require the player to understand the objective of the rondos. If players understand that the rondo is an incredible exercise: both legs, both profiles, look at your second line, put the pass inside, attract, attract and when the defense comes, BUM! you give the pass to the other side. Rondos, is an exercise that allows infinite development if implemented correctly. For example: 7v2 is way much different than 5v2 (which is harder to find the solution) and a 9v2 is more ludic, which can be useful in many other aspects. Or you can make a big round with three in between: two that squeeze you and one that makes the coverage from behind, you have to see where the space is, where can I pass the ball. It forces you to watch what happens to your around, where is the free man. All these can build creativity and cognitive intelligence.
We must understand that "space-time" today is the key in soccer. Who controls it? Busquets, Messi, Iniesta: they are masters of space-time. Lets go back a few years ago so everyone can understand the example. Iniesta, Xavi and Messi they always knew what to do, whether they were alone or surrounded. Also, there were midfielders like Casemiro who didn't understand it. But, at the same time, Busquets could never do field coverage the way Casemiro does when they played to risk the game, kill or die. Casemiro was extremely fast, but he did not dominate “space-time”. He had other characteristics, he was more defensive, he could steal more balls, arrived early and covered more field. If you were to stimulate Casemiro with 12, 13, 15 years old, he would be even better. But, Casemiro was a bad player, no, he just had different characteristics that many coaches didn't liked but others did.
Why does Kroos have it? Because they have worked in Germany. As coaches you can have the same problem, you can find several who are innate talents, that need the work to explode their characteristics. The problem is that many coaches don't want/like to spend the time developing players, they just want to take/recruit the developed product.
Therefore, our objectives are to develop high-level soccer players that:
· Will be able to read the game and execute immediately.
· Be able to translate coaches’ instructions in to the field.
· Be creative, productive and efficient inside and outside the field.
Do you know what do you need to work on?
Does your coach knows what you need to work on?