The English coach Dick Bate is an inspiration to me. His key note speech at the 2013 NSCAA convention blew me away. It also inspired me to look at how countries and clubs develop players. I want to know if the Spanish really do develop players with a better first touch. Do the Italians develop the best Defenders? To answer these questions I needed numbers.
Some player attributes can easily be quantified. Pace for example. You time a player at full speed over a specific distance. Then compare and contrast that result with the rest of the team, club, league, country, or confederation. Most of these attributes are technical and physical.
Player Development is commonly agreed to be a four part process. Technical, Tactical, Physical, and Psychological.
How do we quantify the Tactical and Psychological attributes? I had a very interesting conversation with Don Kirkendall about this. There really is no easy answer. For example, what would be an appropriate test for creativity that can be used for five year olds, and twenty five year olds? I have a load of books by Sir Ken Robinson on my wish list that may help to answer that question. For now, the best I can do is to score creativity and the like by using peer ratings.
So I needed player data. I reverse engineered some simulation software to provide me with the bulk of my dataset. I own the simulation software, and have supported its development for almost twenty years now. My use of the data is not its intended purpose. However, this is for educational means, and I’ll not be sharing the data.
Added to this dataset is publicly available information from places like Wikipedia. A big mention here to the import .io folks. That is a great tool and worth checking out.
In future I’d like to add even more information to the dataset so I can do some more analysis. I’d like to know for example, how players develop when moving to another country at a young age. That sort of thing.
I’d also like to be able to store compare and contrast data from different time periods. That would be hugely informative. Right now though, I don’t have the time to learn how to code that.
So coming soon, a snapshot of players for the end of 2013.
I thought it would be interesting to put together an initial prediction of the final group standings (first column). I then went to oddschecker and added how the bookmakers see it shaking up (second column).
Exactly the same. Not a tough group to call. Croatia are a strong team, and Cameroon a weak one. Brazil should through stroll this group easily.
I think highly of Chile, and their game against Spain is going to be fantastic. I am gambling they have enough about them to beat the Netherlands.
- Ivory Coast
- Ivory Coast
Belgium are very popular at the moment as a “dark horse” that will surprise other teams. They are good. But Japan has better technical ability, and Ghana are stronger. I expect both of those countries to go further than the Belgians. Greece should be able to grind out enough to avoid last place. Colombia are resurgent at the moment. Are they better than Japan? I don’t think so.
- Costa Rica
- Costa Rica
Maybe this is my heart ruling my head here. I think England can be stronger than Uruguay. They have a greater depth of players. Italy will cruise this group.
Once again I completely agree with the bookmakers. I am glad to see Switzerland getting the recognition they deserve. This is going to be a heartbreaking group for South America. Whoever the French choose as their main forward could win the Golden Boot from this group.
Bosnia may even win this group. Nigeria and Iran should be pushovers, and I expect they’ll play to a draw against Argentina. Two strong teams progress here.
- United States
- United States
The USA got a really tough draw here. This is a my “Group of Death”. I completely disagree with the bookmakers about Ghana. They are going to be strong. Portugal look to be wilting and increasingly dependent on one tactic. That said, I can’t see the US containing the attacking line of any of these teams. I’d love to see the US progress. I just don’t see it happening.
- South Korea
- South Korea
Everyone loves Belgium. They remind me of Colombia going into USA 94. They have the potential for sure. Potential doesn’t win games though. Players like Alan Dzagoev do. Russia to win this group. South Korea to try, but have a weak squad. I doubt Algeria will get a point from this group.
Here is the first of my World Cup specials. These are the U21 players to look out for.
We can be confident that Paul Pogba will play an important role. Beyond him it is a toss-up as to which young forward they want to try. Geoffrey Kongdobia would be my choice, and he is just breaking into the national team now. However, it is more likely that Mbaye Niang will get the nod – if he can stay out of trouble off the field. The player I would love to see picked is Kurt Zouma….
There is something about the way that lad plays that resonates with me. Sadly, this World Cup is probably a little early for Kurt. When he does step up, it will be with the phenomenal defender Serge Aurier, and the two outstanding attacking midfielders Alexy Bosetti and Florian Thauvin. In front of them could Jean-Christophe Bahebeck and Yohan Mollo. That is a four extremely good attacking players.
It is fashionable right now to talk of the Belgium wonderkids coming through, but France is really stacked. They have a remarkable amount of quality coming through Clairefontaine, Caen, and Auxerre.
Seriously, these are just some of the players they have coming through…
- Jeremy Obin
- Ibrahima Tandia
- Jerome Roussillon
- Valentin Eysseric
- Djibril Sidibe
- Sebastien Haller
- Aymeric Laporte
- Hervin Ongenda
- Billel Omrani
- Benjamin Mendy
- Raphael Calvet
- Massadio Haidara
- Lenny Nangis
- Abdoulaye Diallo
- Thomas Lemar
- Arnaud Souquet
- Layvin Kurzawa
- Jeremy Helan
- Evan Chevalier
- Diacko Fofana
- Alphonse Areola
- Donovan Leon
- Maxime Bourgeois
- Terence Makengo
- Jordan Veretout
- Neeskens Kebano
- Neal Maupay
- Lucas Digne
- Willy Boly
- Yaya Sanogo
I can only see two players possibly making the team; Andy Najar and Anthony Lozano. Najar was raised in the US and may be the best US developed player at his age. He is a tricky winger and doing well at Anderlecht. Lonzano is a forward. He was at Tottenham for a while, but contacts couldn’t be agreed and he bumped around a bit, ending up at Valencia. He is a regular for Valencia B.
No players stand out.
I’d love to see Haris Seferovic score more goals like this. I doubt he’ll make the team though. The wonderkid Endogan Adili may make the squad. My pick is the Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder, Granit Xhala. A very classy player, this could be a big World Cup for him.
from the Scottish FA positive coaching program
During the game
- Well done
- That’s the way to do it
- That’s a real improvement
- Good thinking
- Keep up the good work
- That’s it
- That’s better
- Fine work
- That’s right
- You’re really working hard today
- That’s looking good
- Good work
- That’s the right way to do it
- Top stuff
- I think you’ve got it now
22. Great effort
23. That’s great
24. You’re getting better
25. Now you’ve got the hang of it
26. You’re getting better every day
27. You’re learning fast
28. I knew you could do it
29. I’m so proud of you
30. That’s much better
32. That’s good
33. Great work
34. That’s as good as I have seen
35. Keep it up
36. Spot on
37. You are doing much better today
38. Keep on trying
40. Nice job
After the game
- That was really good
- I’m proud of your effort today
- That’s the best you’ve ever done
- You did really well today
- You must have been practicing
6. That was great, you remembered
7. You worked well today
8. Good effort out there today
9. You really are learning quickly
10. You’re nearly there
Imagination is more important than knowledge
The best coaches learn and share. They open up their training sessions to other coaches, and learn from them. The NSCAA has published some of the finest coaching material available. They are happy for it to be shared, as long as they receive attribution. Twitter is full of coaching pdfs. Coaches share lesson plans freely. Some appears to be free of copyright, some clearly not.
What happens when an individual or business copy an existing lesson plan, and claim copyright?
Let’s consider a lesson plan entails a diagram and text. I know some are just text, but most have a diagram showing the session organization and movement of ball/players.
There are eight categories of work that are copyrightable
- Literary, musical and dramatic works.
- Pantomimes and choreographic works.
- Pictorial, graphic and sculptural works.
- Sound recordings.
- Motion pictures and other AV works.
- Computer programs.
- Compilations of works and derivative works.
- Architectural works.
An argument could be made that a lesson plan falls under categories 1, 2, and 3. So it would seem that yes a lesson plan could be copyrighted. However…
- Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, and processes are not copyrightable.
- Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans are not copyrightable
- Facts, news, and research are not copyrightable.
- Works in the public domain are not copyrightable.
- Works that are not fixed in a tangible medium of expression.
My reading of this is that the text is potentially copyrightable. How many ways are there to describe the same basic coaching exercise though? At some point surely the same sequence of words are commonly used. The image would appear to be entirely copyrightable though. I am not a lawyer. Get legal advice. Let’s help each other improve as coaches. #sharingiscaring.
What follows is part of my coursework for the USSF National Youth License. it is the oral question I was set, and my prepatory notes. I hope this helps.
Present a plan to convince a club board of directors why a coaching license should be mandatory for all coaches in your club.
Relatively few of today’s coaches grew up playing soccer; that lack of experience can limit a coach’s knowledge of what to teach our young players.It is important for us to be clear that knowing what to teach does not ensure an understanding of how to teach it, especially to young players. By ensuring our coaches are licensed, we can be confident…
- they will have an applicable level of knowledge on what to teach our players
- they will have the tools to do so
- the level of coaching in the club will be consistent
Ensuring our coaches have an appropriate coaching license will mean we can provide quality instruction for our coaches and quality development for our players.
We must do all we can to ensure that our players receive the best possible coaching in a manner that is consistent with the Club’s philosophy. As coaches we facilitate the best possible development of our players. As a club we must facilitate the best possible development of our coaches.
There are several coaching licenses available. The introductory licenses only require a few hours investment of time. We know that our volunteer coaches are busy, but it is a privilege to coach our players and I believe they are worth that investment of time.
As our coaches looks to advance through experience and application, we should reward them by supporting their development. Licensing is the best way to do this. It helps them, which helps us, which helps our players.
For the sport of soccer [and our club] to develop we need to assist with the goal of ever increasing professionalism at all levels. We can do this by supporting the licensing programs of US Soccer, US Youth Soccer, and our State Office.
Turn criticism in to your most powerful ally. First remove the sting of criticism, and then determine the valid elements of that criticism to draw as much benefit as possible from those valid elements.
Consider the source of any criticism
- How qualified is the critic to make the criticism?
- What is the basis of the criticism?
- What is the critic’s motive for making the criticism?
Criticism is often useful and praise is often deceitful – Winston Churchill
He was saying he would rather be criticized than praised. Why?
Praise doesn’t make you do anything. It just makes you sit back and smile. Criticism, on the other hand, has the power to make you refocus and rethink from a different perspective.
As long as humanity exists something new will come along – otherwise football dies!