[Football] Blueprint According To...Stephen Fraser

Paul Grech Friday, November 28, 2014 , , ,
One of the first changes that Bill Shankly brought about as soon as he became manager at Liverpool FC was to revolutionise the way that his players trained.  Out went the long distance running that had previously been the daily occurrence – as with most clubs across the country at the time – and in came training with the ball.

“We never bothered with sand dunes and hills and roads,” he later said, “we trained on grass where football is played.”

At the time it was a revolutionary move, as were most of the practices he introduced to the club, but nowadays they are accepted wisdom.  What Shankly had done was to look at how things were being done and questioned whether they were fulfilling their purpose.  Framed that way, it is easy to conclude that spending a morning running up and down a hill isn’t going to result in a better football player.

“Everything we do here is for a purpose” Shankly used to love to say.  And so it should be for any coach.  Doing a training session simply because that is what you are used to doing or it is how you yourself trained simply isn’t good enough.  You have to know what it will help you achieve and how that fits in your overall training plan.

Stephen Fraser is someone who strongly believes in this.  A young coach who is currently working at St Mirren’s Academy – one of the finest in Scotland – he argues that “activity alone is not sufficient to develop talent.”

“It has to be focused practice and always have a purpose to improve the players as individuals.”  As he explains when talking about his blueprint, football takes place in a very dynamic environment so why do players train in a static environment?

The full interview can be read on Blueprint for Football.

[Football] Why Coaches Need To Look Within To Develop a Football Philosophy

For some time last year, it was impossible to escape from philosophy in football.  Every other coach seemed to be talking about it and how his way of playing had been shaped by it.

Whilst the idea of a philosophy is in itself a straightforward one, how one arrives to it is rather complex; it isn’t simply a case of claiming that you want to play with the ball on the ground.  Different situations force coaches to adopt different ideas and their philosophy must be adaptable enough to follow suit.

“Philosophy has become a bit of a buzzword in coaching, and is sometimes either very generic or very unclear.”  So say Ray Power, a youth coach who has devoted time  to  look at what is meant by a philosophy and how one – anyone, irrespective of level they’re coaching – can develop a philosophy.

Those thoughts are contained in his book In Making the Ball Roll  -  a must for any budding coach - and we’ve spoken to him to learn more about the various elements that coaching should encompass as well as about the most recent tactical innovations.

The full interview can be read on Blueprint for Football.

[Featured Article] Times of Malta: Injury Setback Fails to Derail Richard's Year


[Featured Article] November 2014 Twitter Feedback

Paul Grech Thursday, November 27, 2014 , ,

[Featured Articles] Twitter Feedback

Paul Grech Friday, November 7, 2014 , , ,
The article on Emiliano Mondonico and his run to the UEFA Cup final with Torino that was featured on the Inside Left site elicited quite a lot of positive feedback, including the following tweets.
Copyright 2010 Paul Grech: Writer