Team Culture

We have all heard players and coaches who have just won a big game or a championship talk about the incredible team culture that made them persevere and reach this pinnacle of their careers. They often speak about their team culture with great pride and with an aura of mysticism.  As a coach you want to create a good team culture, whatever that might be, but it’s probably a team culture that increases the chance of your team winning more games. You’ve read about great teams and great coaches who’ve been able to install a team culture that produced results. … Continue reading Team Culture

Prisoner’s Dilemma and Teams

There’s a simple gambling game called the Prisoner’s Dilemma that is played by two players against each other with a banker who pays out winnings to the two players based on the outcome. Outcome 1 is both players cooperating and getting paid $300 each. In outcome 2 both players defect and is fined $10 each. Outcome 3 is when you cooperate and the other player defects, with the banker paying the other player $500 (for the temptation) and fines you $100 for being a sucker. In outcome 4, the last one, you defect and the other player cooperates with the … Continue reading Prisoner’s Dilemma and Teams

Improving Communication

We know that as a football coach your role is to improve the quality of your players football actions. This means that the reason for the coach to be in the training session is to improve the communication between players within the different team functions and team tasks by improving the decision making of the individual players. By helping players make better decisions you as the coach are improving the quality of your players football actions and as a result you are improving football.  Imagine taking over a new team before the upcoming season. You start by analyzing the squad … Continue reading Improving Communication

The Football Coach

What is the purpose of the football coach within the game of football? We know what the coach does in training when interacting with the players, we call that coaching football. But why is the football coach present in training and what is it that the person in this role is supposed to do? In order to answer these questions we will take a philosophical approach to the game and see where the football coach fits. The starting point for coaching football is the objective characteristics of the game. The fact is that football is a game with a set … Continue reading The Football Coach

Implementing a playing style

How do you implement a new playing style in a team that have been used to play in a different way? First, let’s define what a playing style is; in the game of football you win by scoring minimum one more goal than the opponent. There are three different team functions for every football team in every game, namely attacking, defending and transitioning. The playing style is HOW you attack, defend and transition, or in other words; the subjective application of the team functions with your external factors. The playing style is a reference for the communication between your players … Continue reading Implementing a playing style

What language?

When you are coaching at a club you might have a lot of resources at your disposal in the form of coaches and other people who come from outside football. The reason all of the coaches and people from outside football is in your office is because they are supposed to help you and your team. These people from outside football might call themselves different things like ”mental coaches”, ”strength and conditioning coaches”, ”performance analyst” or something else that they invented in a university hall. It’s important to remember that all of these people are there to help your players … Continue reading What language?

Protect it

What happens when you are in a position of power and notice that someone below you in the hierarchy threatens your position as the proverbial top dog? Back in the old days when the King felt threatened by an underling he simply ordered them killed and the problem was solved. The King knew that if the threat to his position wasn’t removed, nature would run its course and he would eventually be replaced as King. But what does any of this have to do with football in general and coaching in particular? Well, if we disregard the killing part, and … Continue reading Protect it

Turn It Around

Imagine a team that is over-performing in the first half of the season to the degree that they are in the top of their league. All of a sudden they start losing every game and towards the end of the season they find themselves on the verge of relegation. What might be the reason for a team that has been over-performing predictions in the first half of the season to suddenly fall into a long losing streak? More importantly, what can you as the coach of such a team do to turn a long losing streak around and save your … Continue reading Turn It Around

Top Down

What do you see when looking around on the internet or when you are at coaching seminars? Do you mostly see objective information about the game and how to improve your knowledge or is it mostly the flavor of the month, a quick fix to be a successful coach and books about drills? You probably recognize that in these environments it’s mostly the quick fix that is bated around for gullible coaches to bite and swallow. Drills and ”methods” that has worked well in someones environment and that is sold as universal even though it is per definition a subjective … Continue reading Top Down

What is football?

In earlier posts we have put things that the football coach does into the context of which the coach operates. For example, we have discussed that the way you coach should be decided by the context, the sport you are coaching and only thereafter the external factors in your specific situation. In this post we will look at the overarching context for everything on this blog, namely the game of football. The purpose of this post is to give you an objective description of the game, a frame of reference for your coaching. First and foremost football is a game … Continue reading What is football?