Extreme Football

Lately when I am talking about football it seems to be that often I am not talking about the topic I think I am at all.

For the second time in as many weeks I have had a conversation start something like this

Me: The club is not too concerned about whether the children win every week. We are more concerned with making sure that each team is following the club philosophy and every player is enjoying their football and getting an equal opportunity to play.

Coach/Parent: So you want them to lose every game.

Me: No what I am saying is the children don’t play football simply to win no matter what. We need to consider whether we are trying to win games by following the club philosophy rather than simply going for the win each week because we have to win no matter what we do to achieve it.

Coach/Parent: So you think the children would be happy if they never won another game.

I think I thought about writing this blog this week because I seemed to have seen on Twitter or had many conversations that have followed a similar path to this quite a bit in the last month.

This blog is not about ‘results’ by the way it is about debating the actual topic and not debating about whether you believe in taking your opinion to its extreme.

If the club is not concerned about ‘weekly results’ does this mean the club is happy if every team loses every game is where the above discussion headed both times. The topic which I thought at the time was how to win games following the club philosophy was not really what we spoke about.

I see Coaches debating the merits of isolated training and games based training on Twitter quite often. I am all in favour of games based training but this doesn’t mean I regard any training that isn’t games based as having absolutely no value. This discussion so often heads towards debating whether extreme incidents of isolated training such as an individual kicking a ball against a wall or juggling has any benefit and not about which of the methods of training is more effective and why.

Another one was a discussion I thought about possession football compared with more direct football. The Coach I was talking to believed strongly that I couldn’t say I favoured possession football because I was happy for players to play long passes. I explained that as long as it is a pass then the length of the pass doesn’t matter to me. To him possession football only meant short passes on the ground and if I agreed with long aerial passes then it wasn’t possession football. The discussion ended up being about length of pass.

The point of the blog is that when I reflected on the discussions nothing was really any different after them. I felt I had no more knowledge and I didn’t feel I had been able to express myself properly. Looking back I think this is because the topic itself wasn’t really discussed what was discussed was the extreme examples of the topic rather than the topic.

This is something for me to consider in future as I feel these discussions could have been of more value if I had realised at the time that we had stopped talking about the topic. Definitely something for me to consider next time I talk football.

Please leave a comment or email me seanthecoach@icloud.com

Or possible leave a comment on Twitter @SeanDArcy66

Till next time

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