Two Balanced Sides or One Strong & One Weak?


Two Balanced Sides or One Strong & One Weak?

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sokorny
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This season I am coaching at my local club. I will be coaching the thirds team (nothing serious). In this division our club has two teams. For the past few seasons the coach of the thirds has picked the strongest of the rest (and the club has won something like the last 5 seasons, including an undefeated season last year). However on the flip side the other club's team in the same division lost nearly every match (and quite heavily). Both these teams are largely made up of players under 20 years of age (most around the 16 year old mark), with a sprinkling of 30 plus year old players.

Now my question is what is best for the club? To have one strong team (and therefore one weak team) or two balanced teams?

Our league and reserves teams usually finish top 4 (in recent history) but have not won either comps for over ten years. Considering our thirds have had so much success my thoughts are that my role as a thirds coach is to provide a pathway for getting the young players to step up in the near future to these higher divisions. But the impetus in the past has been more so on results (has this perhaps been to the detriment of our reserve and league teams?)

So what do you think? Should I just pick the strongest team available to me, or try to balance out the teams more?

Consider that our 'fourths' only had 2 to 3 players last season over the age of 17, and week in week out they were getting pumped. The 'thirds' had about 5 players over the age 17.
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When I was 17 I played my first year of seniors, and f***ing relished playing with older guys and against older guys.
One in particular who had played at a good level really took me under his wing and I learned so much from playing with him.
Decentric
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sokorny wrote:
This season I am coaching at my local club. I will be coaching the thirds team (nothing serious). In this division our club has two teams. For the past few seasons the coach of the thirds has picked the strongest of the rest (and the club has won something like the last 5 seasons, including an undefeated season last year). However on the flip side the other club's team in the same division lost nearly every match (and quite heavily). Both these teams are largely made up of players under 20 years of age (most around the 16 year old mark), with a sprinkling of 30 plus year old players.

Now my question is what is best for the club? To have one strong team (and therefore one weak team) or two balanced teams?

Our league and reserves teams usually finish top 4 (in recent history) but have not won either comps for over ten years. Considering our thirds have had so much success my thoughts are that my role as a thirds coach is to provide a pathway for getting the young players to step up in the near future to these higher divisions. But the impetus in the past has been more so on results (has this perhaps been to the detriment of our reserve and league teams?)

So what do you think? Should I just pick the strongest team available to me, or try to balance out the teams more?

Consider that our 'fourths' only had 2 to 3 players last season over the age of 17, and week in week out they were getting pumped. The 'thirds' had about 5 players over the age 17.


Two balanced teams are best IMO.
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What's the whole purpose of the club? To socialise or win promotion? If it's just an association team, might as well balance the teams and make it enjoyable for all.
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Ask Aurelio Vidmar.
sokorny
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theFOOTBALLlover wrote:
What's the whole purpose of the club? To socialise or win promotion? If it's just an association team, might as well balance the teams and make it enjoyable for all.


No promotion available. So we're going for two balanced sides, thanks for everydone's thoughts
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sokorny wrote:
theFOOTBALLlover wrote:
What's the whole purpose of the club? To socialise or win promotion? If it's just an association team, might as well balance the teams and make it enjoyable for all.


No promotion available. So we're going for two balanced sides, thanks for everydone's thoughts


Good luck with it.
sokorny
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Just an update, as our season is now half way through.

My team sits third (a point behind the two teams above). The fourth placed team (3 points behind us) has more than double the points of the fifth placed team. In the first round we lost to each of the 3 teams in the top 4 (as we played a high pressure game and continually got caught out in the backline on fast counter attacks). In the second round we have so far beaten 2 of those 3 teams (and yet to play the top team) ... we haven't dropped points in any other games. I changed our formation and tactics for these games, so that we sat deeper and had fewer up top pressuring the defence. Our keeper had never played before and has come on leaps and bounds (that he has picked up how to sweep for us has been great). Our young central defender has learned a lot from the experienced back line that surrounds him, and one player has continued to improve (he started at probably an under 9's skill level although he has played juniors for 6 years). Most importantly the team doesn't argue among themselves (except for one show pony) and rally behind each other.

The only thing lacking is how to get their intensity up before a game (and during training). The senior players and I have tried strategies such as incentives (games), wear a tutu (fun and punishment, I had to wear it last week), threats of benching, different warm up games etc. etc. but we still start many games very slow (especially against the lower teams) and trying to get some of the young ones to step up at training is hard.

So any thoughts???

FYI - The other team from my club in the division have had a far from successful season. We recently beat them 7-1, and then the following week they lost to the bottom placed team. However we train at the same time, and I can see that they train poorly, they are not taught any structure and inevitable finish at least 30 minutes before us (when we recently beat them I told my team at half time that they don't train for 90 minutes so they won't play for 90, and that my team knew they put in the hard work and had to show the others what hard work looks like). In reality my team is better on paper, but only slightly. The differences between the teams is chalk and cheese now though, and I feel bad as I have played with a few in the other team and really wanted to see them do a lot better. Their coach isn't one to accept advice from others though, so unfortunately can't do too much for them.
theFOOTBALLlover
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sokorny wrote:
Just an update, as our season is now half way through.

My team sits third (a point behind the two teams above). The fourth placed team (3 points behind us) has more than double the points of the fifth placed team. In the first round we lost to each of the 3 teams in the top 4 (as we played a high pressure game and continually got caught out in the backline on fast counter attacks). In the second round we have so far beaten 2 of those 3 teams (and yet to play the top team) ... we haven't dropped points in any other games. I changed our formation and tactics for these games, so that we sat deeper and had fewer up top pressuring the defence. Our keeper had never played before and has come on leaps and bounds (that he has picked up how to sweep for us has been great). Our young central defender has learned a lot from the experienced back line that surrounds him, and one player has continued to improve (he started at probably an under 9's skill level although he has played juniors for 6 years). Most importantly the team doesn't argue among themselves (except for one show pony) and rally behind each other.

The only thing lacking is how to get their intensity up before a game (and during training). The senior players and I have tried strategies such as incentives (games), wear a tutu (fun and punishment, I had to wear it last week), threats of benching, different warm up games etc. etc. but we still start many games very slow (especially against the lower teams) and trying to get some of the young ones to step up at training is hard.

So any thoughts???

FYI - The other team from my club in the division have had a far from successful season. We recently beat them 7-1, and then the following week they lost to the bottom placed team. However we train at the same time, and I can see that they train poorly, they are not taught any structure and inevitable finish at least 30 minutes before us (when we recently beat them I told my team at half time that they don't train for 90 minutes so they won't play for 90, and that my team knew they put in the hard work and had to show the others what hard work looks like). In reality my team is better on paper, but only slightly. The differences between the teams is chalk and cheese now though, and I feel bad as I have played with a few in the other team and really wanted to see them do a lot better. Their coach isn't one to accept advice from others though, so unfortunately can't do too much for them.


How do you start training? If they are starting slow its maybe because that's how training starts. Just a thought.

And what do you mean by slow start?
sokorny
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Our usual start is a warm up (short ups and downs with dynamic stretching). I could perhaps try a "game" ... get their competitive nature going at the start??

At the start of games it is the lack of intensity ... that is takes them a while to get their game up to speed, even though their pre-game warm up starts slowly and builds up in speed and intensity closer to kick off. Even got the captain getting them in a huddle after handshakes / toss to fire them up one last time.
Edited
3 Years Ago by sokorny
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sokorny wrote:
Our usual start is a warm up (short ups and downs with dynamic stretching). I could perhaps try a "game" ... get their competitive nature going at the start??

At the start of games it is the lack of intensity ... that is takes them a while to get their game up to speed, even though their pre-game warm up starts slowly and builds up in speed and intensity closer to kick off. Even got the captain getting them in a huddle after handshakes / toss to fire them up one last time.


A small game with more players on BP then BPO would be a good way to start so they have resistance from the start.

How long are your warm ups before the game? How long before the match do you get them there?
Edited
3 Years Ago by theFOOTBALLlover
sokorny
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theFOOTBALLlover wrote:
sokorny wrote:
Our usual start is a warm up (short ups and downs with dynamic stretching). I could perhaps try a "game" ... get their competitive nature going at the start??

At the start of games it is the lack of intensity ... that is takes them a while to get their game up to speed, even though their pre-game warm up starts slowly and builds up in speed and intensity closer to kick off. Even got the captain getting them in a huddle after handshakes / toss to fire them up one last time.


A small game with more players on BP then BPO would be a good way to start so they have resistance from the start.

How long are your warm ups before the game? How long before the match do you get them there?


We get there an hour before the game, and usually have at least 30 minutes warmup time. I have tried the game in the past, and have mixed results. I just don't think some of the kids are that way wired
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sokorny - 6 Jul 2016 10:29 AM
theFOOTBALLlover wrote:
sokorny wrote:
Our usual start is a warm up (short ups and downs with dynamic stretching). I could perhaps try a "game" ... get their competitive nature going at the start??

At the start of games it is the lack of intensity ... that is takes them a while to get their game up to speed, even though their pre-game warm up starts slowly and builds up in speed and intensity closer to kick off. Even got the captain getting them in a huddle after handshakes / toss to fire them up one last time.


A small game with more players on BP then BPO would be a good way to start so they have resistance from the start.

How long are your warm ups before the game? How long before the match do you get them there?


We get there an hour before the game, and usually have at least 30 minutes warmup time. I have tried the game in the past, and have mixed results. I just don't think some of the kids are that way wired

I am an assistant with a Junior NPL side and while we have an "official" 90 minutes of training, we ensure the boys are there at least 15 minutes before and during this time we do the warm-ups as "pre-training". Once training officially starts we are straight into high intensity activities & kids know that they need to be "on" immediately. Works pretty well normally, but you always have days where they dont turn up.









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It is lucky for a few posters on here that i can work the quoting function properly anymore, because some of the things on here are an absolute embarrassment.

Of course you should have picked your strongest.  It is unfair to both sides. 

If any of your players did have any sort of football talent, they will look at the side you picked and think you have know idea what you are doing and therefore take little notice of anything you have to say.  you will have bread arrogance in your side and confusion.  ON the flip side, the players you switched will be even worse effected, wondering why in the world other crap players were selected ahead of them.  Dont be surprised if some guys lost interest solely because of your frustration and certainly it is no surprise that once you put some of your players down a division, they dropped form and played to that level.  That is what happened. 

Nearly every side i have ever seen has players in reserves who should be in firsts or vice versa. Usually this is less noticeable to me with better coaches.  I always assumed it was due to the coach being crap.  I never dreamed that some coaches might actually do this on purpose!

This line of thinking surely cant be part of the new curriculum is it?  As someone else said, it might explain some of the selections in some of the younger socceroos games.

I am sorry but some people on here supporting the ridiculouse concept of not picking on merit should hang their head in shame.



sokorny
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Bender Parma - 18 Sep 2016 9:38 AM

It is lucky for a few posters on here that i can work the quoting function properly anymore, because some of the things on here are an absolute embarrassment.

Of course you should have picked your strongest.  It is unfair to both sides. 

If any of your players did have any sort of football talent, they will look at the side you picked and think you have know idea what you are doing and therefore take little notice of anything you have to say.  you will have bread arrogance in your side and confusion.  ON the flip side, the players you switched will be even worse effected, wondering why in the world other crap players were selected ahead of them.  Dont be surprised if some guys lost interest solely because of your frustration and certainly it is no surprise that once you put some of your players down a division, they dropped form and played to that level.  That is what happened. 

Nearly every side i have ever seen has players in reserves who should be in firsts or vice versa. Usually this is less noticeable to me with better coaches.  I always assumed it was due to the coach being crap.  I never dreamed that some coaches might actually do this on purpose!

This line of thinking surely cant be part of the new curriculum is it?  As someone else said, it might explain some of the selections in some of the younger socceroos games.

I am sorry but some people on here supporting the ridiculouse concept of not picking on merit should hang their head in shame.



I informed the players at the start of the season that my team is for those that want to push themselves. It was known to them that I wanted players who wanted to be better, but not necessarily the best players at the moment.

In the end players were given the choice who they wanted to be their coach. A lot chose the other coach because he had coached them in juniors, or because they wanted easier training sessions. A few chose me because I would push them (one player, who was absolutely hopeless, chose me because he had had the other coach previously for a few years ... he couldn't even trap the ball at the start of the season).

We had neither an A or B side (as we were in the same division), instead we had a team willing to work hard at training and for each other in games, and a team that didn't train hard and argued with each other most games. We finished third (only losing 3 games in the last 18, after losing 3 in the first 9) and the other team finished 7th (out of ten). We frequently had the better players from my team stepping up for the reserves side too (which was great for them and their development). Probably the biggest issue with the division was that there were only four competitive teams (fifth place was 30 points behind fourth). Even then the team that finished second we flogged 5-1 at home near the end of the season. They needed a higher standard of competition week in week out really.
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Alrighty me again. Well after much debating with the family (read my wife) I've decided to coach the thirds team again this season. I will be doing it this time with an "assistant" ... more so that we can share the duties (as with a young family soccer was taking up Saturday with the kids and Sunday away from the family coaching the boys).

This season we've decided to go with a strong team and weak team. The balanced sides worked okay last season, but some of the better players in the other team were wasted as their coach treated it like a social team (and he is coaching again this year). Which is fine and good, as it is a fairly low level. But there is not much point having two balanced sides if one is a social team and the other wants to be competitive and develop young players.

I guess the message is that sometimes we learn from our mistakes :) and if you don't try you'll never know.
GO


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