“Not Everything That Can Be Counted, Counts”

Observing your team in action can be a powerful way to evaluate progress. It is important to incorporate statistics into the process. Critical thinking is needed to use all the observational and statistical information appropriately.

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Statistics-One Size Does Not Fit All

I am an information fanatic on many fronts. I especially relish diving into a statistical match analysis, picking up on player or team tendencies, determining strengths and weaknesses, developing game plans, etc. Many software programs provide detailed analysis of a team’s performance. As much as I enjoy detailed information, the most valuable statistic(s) is the…

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Passing Techniques and Systems- One Size Does Not Fit All

Coaches must guard against automatically mirroring other teams’ or coaches’ techniques and tactics. Many factors should influence how the skills are taught and the systems implemented. The game is different at the collegiate or national team levels compared to a 14-under club team. The men’s game at the international level is a beast unto itself—the…

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Nine Pillars of Designing a Team Defense

Last week I detailed the nine items I value when constructing an offensive system. This week, I will focus on the considerations when constructing my defense. There is more to the defensive game than what is listed. These items provide a foundation and roadmap for developing a better defensive team. When looking at the game…

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Considerations for an Effective Offense

Any successful venture will possess core values. Decisions are made, daily activities are designed, and time is allocated based on the pillars deemed the backbone of a company, team, or collective group. All coaches should have core values that impact daily activities and decisions. These values must be visible to all team members with an…

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A Painstaking, But Worthwhile Evaluation Tool

Hall of Fame coach Mike Hebert told me that one of his most valuable tools to develop as a coach was recording video and audio of himself during multiple practices. My first reaction was my fear of what I would see or hear if I tried this self-improvement tactic. I did summon the courage, and…

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Rethinking Timeouts

I loved the timeout format for international matches. You have thirty seconds for the players to get a drink, for the coach to make a quick comment, then the troops return to the competitive fray. In this country, the length of timeouts will vary, but certainly more than 30 seconds. In some televised matches, the…

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Availability Bias, Avoid The Trap

If coaches had their salary tied to the number of decisions made daily, everyone could retire early. Some decisions are easy (or easier), and others are painfully difficult. The sheer number of decisions is, at times, staggering to the point that we tend to make decisions quickly so we can press on to the next…

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