The Sunday News
Due to the 2018 harmonised elections which necessitated that soccer games take a break, I find it proper to talk about soccer administration. It is important that administrators have some knowledge of football, technically that is.
Football is now a very big subject, if not one of the world’s biggest employers which we must not take for granted. Football will never, never progress to the next level if administrators are not well equipped with knowledge of the game. For example, we recently saw a club firing two coaches in seven months.
You cannot be surprised to see an assistant coach taking over. But the truth is there are people who are bright enough for an assistant position, yet appear dull when promoted to prominence. Just as a candle, it is all well to light a dinner table, but proves inadequate if placed on lamp post to illuminate a street corner.
The technical fundi will know and advice on the following issues.
A. How do you interview the coach? What do you expect from him? And what is the job specification ?
B. The role of the assistant coach.
C. How to build a competitive squad. Putting into consideration players potentials for success in competitive football. The level of performance at which a player will perform whether the player’s basic development was accomplished.
D. The understanding of match reports.
E. How to conduct match post mortem meetings with technical staff.
F. Preparation of home/ away games. You can realise you cannot win league championship if you do not win at least 95% of home games and 60 to 70% of your away games.
I am not saying we do not have good administrators, they can do better if they can be given some workshops so they can understand the core businesses of soccer in their roles within the club because we now see administrators commenting on technical issues. Neglecting his or her duties during the process.
Criteria to use to get competitive players
Employ top quality experienced scouts e.g former players, retired coaches; Establish age-adjusted selection criteria for players; Watch the player in several matches at home and away; Know what to look for from the player in matches training;
Chat with the player and his/her parents; Contact the club or the set up where the player was playing; Get the player to take different test to assess his suitability; Medical screening to ascertain his general state of health both physical and mental;
A technical and physical test depending on criteria laid down by the club; A psychology test to assess his motivation personality and character.
Some possible criteria
Can the player
Run well both with the ball and off the ball; Pass the ball well; Receive the ball well;
Control the ball well; Dribble and feint; Play with both feet; Escape makers easily;
Break away well; Get himself into right positions
Does the player:
Know how to behave with dignity win or lose; Have a good influence on the game and his team mates; Have tactical leadership; Have human leadership; Have the right attitude
Does the player have:
A suitable physique for the position; Sufficient strength to win individual tussles; A good reading of the game; A good heading skills
Setting training objectives
The way to high performance is filled with long term difficult demands. Such complex challenges engage mental, physical, social and environmental aspects that have significant bearing in performance step by step through useful training.
The following should be considered when setting training objectives
Training targets should objectively reflect the possibilities of the players’ age and playing experiences. Any training objective must realistically address the time factor as certain complex tasks require long term commitment e.g two to three seasons are needed to maximise performance of a new team formation. In most cases it could take five-six weeks of exercising before the effects of training can produce any positive response .
Targeting simultaneous improvement of some of game components e.g perfecting scoring in condition of speed and active opposition rather than aim performance progress in individual skill or ability is the only beneficial answer to high performance.
Coaches are encouraged to consider objectives that can innovate play and take the game to the next level. Such objectives could include, for example new challenges to how to stimulate players’ tactical awareness.
Training objectives can be charged to higher requirements if the players improve fast. Communicating training targets with players and increased exercises for awareness and self-evaluation of performance progress.
Acceptance must be given to the fact that performance can only be achieved only when the inborn qualities of players are properly developed and consolidated.
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