Home » 2012 » October

Monthly Archives: October 2012


What things are you not seeing?

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, a
nd stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?


Please feel free to follow or contact me on ross.brooks@coerver.co.uk or on Twitter @CoerverRoss

Many thanks
Ross Brooks


UEFA B Award Day 4

On day we looked back at the themed session we came up with on our table. We received some positive feedback regarding this – but it certainly made us think about how much depth we need to go into on these areas.

We were also talk about defending outnumbered which was going to be the focus for the morning which was going to be delivered to us in a ATP but also a Phase of Play by John and Colin. The sessions were good, and really made us think about how we can link them together.

We then moved onto defending set pieces which we looked at the benefits of zonal and man to man marking from corners. What is best for you? Most of the group said that man to man is their preference, which John countered with some interesting stats.

1 in 3 goal from 6 yard box
1-7 around penalty spot
1-15 from edge of area to penalty spot
1-50 from edge of area
1-21 from near outside area where the set piece taker

This is when the first phase is completed, this changes when a number of other touches are made, but it’s interesting as it makes you think about actually where do you want to deliver the ball but also how do you want to defend to counter this.

John believed Zonal Marking was more effective – but what’s your thoughts?

But anyway, everyone went onto deliver their sessions which they were meant to prepare from the evening of day 3. I am actually delivering any session I want with 8 players for 20 minutes on Day 5 so will give you some feedback on this then. The coaches from today did a good job, and some great learning outcomes came out!

Itchy feet time for tomorrow!
Early night… Or a few drinks? Both!

Please feel free to follow or contact me on ross.brooks@coerver.co.uk or on Twitter @CoerverRoss

Many thanks
Ross Brooks

UEFA B Sessions







UEFA B Day 3

Day 3 has come… Boy I feel tired! Aside from the physical and psychological demands of the course I have found socially I have been destroyed by living in the travel lodge hotel room with George. Sorry George.

Anyway, back to being serious –
When we arrived, rather lethargically we were asked to recap and review the sessions from yesterday by finalising our drawings on some board paper. What Geoff was looking at I believe anyway, was how we had developed our session plans.

Okay! Next workshop Defending Principles of Play






We then looked what and actually has influenced how these have recycled over the history of football. In its entirety they have always remained the same but differed and been adjusted by different coaches. These are what we call influencers –

One of these influencers is Caldera from his development of Newells Old Boys and how that philosophy has followed him through to clubs such as Athletico Madrid


Guardiola, is someone that took what was already their in terms of this high pressure off the ball.

The impact is you create players like Van Bommel, when the game is now going more to players like Dembele who can hold/screen but also can play once they have one the ball.

Ben Bartlett, Geoff and Colin all delivered some great sessions – looking at defending principles but also pressure and screening.

We then came in and looked at 3 things we have taken individually away from each of the days. 1 thing from each day –

Day 1 – attacking principles of play
Day 2 – communication styles
Day 3 – defending principles

We then on our tables were asked to plan a themed session –
Which we will review on the morning of Day 4.

Please feel free to follow or contact me on ross.brooks@coerver.co.uk or on Twitter @CoerverRoss

Many thanks
Ross Brooks

UEFA B Award Day 2

Day 2 was a much more practical day. We arrived at 9:00am at the Hertfordshire FA, and arrived to find ourselves in some different activities to stimulate the mind. Our challenge was to come up with as many clubs that have played in the premier league since it had started… It then went onto a competition to see what table could come up with the most teams, but they couldn’t repeat a team that was already called out… & only had 5 seconds to answer! We did well… And won (performance goal)

The first theoretical workshop we looked at was on communication, coaching styles and learning styles

Geoff Pike our course director explained how we should be a teacher and how he feels we have a lot of coaches in football, but not enough teachers. What do you think is the difference?

We looked at learning styles – how can your own learning style allow you to understand others? If I am learning visually and I know this, what works for me? What would work for the individual? I think it is important with your team, from the outset – how do your players learn? Give them a test, use this to help you understand how the group, individual learns and maximise your effective teaching.

A Comfort Zone? We all sat the same table, from yesterday. Where we all left in our comfort zones? Yes, we were. The reason for this must link back to how the culture and how we were taught as kids to be taught… Geoff said, to learn you need to be taken out of your comfort zone. The course and its content will allow you to do that, but also the interaction with peers and the tutors will allow you to get into indepth discussions where you don’t necessarily have a scooby do what someone is on about. Why? Because they have a different experience to your own… Are you actually what you say your are; as brave and creative as you say you are? I don’t think so… Something I will certainly take on from the course.

professional coaching skills


How do you actually come across as the coach, the teacher the person?
And how do you actually get things across?

We must directly link perceptions and persuasion and do things to get people to perceive you for the way you want to be perceived. Perception is reality I was once told by a very influential figure I met and worked with in the states.

how communication effects your players

Language used
The interaction of players and the coach
The ability to motivate
The ability to enthuse
The ability to inform

Look at these and what different coaching styles could you use to achieve them and help become a better communicator? Visually, Verbally, Kinasthetically and Written – do you honestly use them? And have you become a master of these techniques to become an effective communicator?

Here is something for you to go on top of that…

Looking at communication channels Albert Mehrabians book is worth checking out for this info.

Take the following listed below and come up with percentages… Out of 100% before you ask… And what out of them are proven by Albert to be the most important items you are in control of when communicating?

Words –
Voice tone –
Non Verbal –

Words actually is 7% of how the information is processed… 7%! This is unbelievable, how often do you actually see coaches still, even after all of these courses… Hands up too, talk far too much? Are you that coach? That teacher?

35% is voice tone… You can’t teach personality? Maybe… But improve how you actually teach! Are you loud and quiet? Or do you have that persona where you can talk very quietly but yet still grab everyone’s attention.

58% is non verbal. Key – what does your body actually suggest? How can you change the perceptions of others to actually get across what your thinking and feeling – use hand gestures, open your eyes… Engage and motivate one of the key essentials of an expert communicator.


Colour is the first thing our brain takes in – how can different colours effect people?
Red – energy, excitement, life
Black – menace, aggression, power authority
Yellow – happiness, good times
Blue – calming wisdom

Colour is the universal non verbal language that all understand…

Connect – Activate – Demonstrate – Consolidate

Be the Master – don’t just watch the game, analyse it.. What, why, where, who, when? All of these different questions… I’m certainly going to start looking at games in a different way!

Anyway… That should be enough for day 2.
Now off to watch Stevenage v Portsmouth then power sleep!

Please feel free to follow or contact me on ross.brooks@coerver.co.uk or on Twitter @CoerverRoss

Many thanks,
Ross Brooks.

UEFA B Award

Hi All,
Today I started day 1 on my UEFA B – after waking up at 5:15am expecting to be travelling to Hertfordshire FA on a long journey; it was quite the opposite. We arrive just after 8:00am, turned up – sat in the car – needed the toilet after too many coffees, and was pleasantly met by our Tutors. Geoff Pike, Ben Bartlett, John Beck & Colin we got straight into it. The interested part was certainly the theory & how they believe the course is evolved and constantly evolving. Despite being eager to get out on the field, I actually found the theory the most beneficial part of the day.
Firstly we went about what the course was about, what you can expect to get from it & develop when doing in the course – it was quite clear that The FA have really had a kick up the backside on developing coaches in this country.

When delivering I noted that I needed to think about these areas when delivering:

– On the ball
-Away from the ball
-Around the ball
We spoke about these 3 components being keen when delivering – entwining the Youth Module 3 of developing the player with how you can individually challenge and effect players off the ball.
We spoke about “Defending when your possession off the ball.”

Workshop 1 – Philosophy
– Some science to consider:
*98% of children have divergent genius capacity.
*You are the product of your experiences.
*33% of children change their learning/behaviour when they have input in their learning.
*’Improve as a coach when praising effort.’

You also need to check out Break Point http://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Our-Minds-Learning-Creative/dp/1907312471/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1350932593&sr=8-2 heard some good feedback on this book from the course too!

*Definition of Philosophy: System of theories on nature of things or on conduct. What is yours?
We also contrasted the Winning & Development:
Select Players
Play Strongest Teams
Release Players
Measure success by results
All welcome
Positive Behavior code for all players
Measure success by enjoyment
All get the chance to play equally
I think these areas in particular is something which is something which is clear to see some coaches at Grass Roots & even at ‘Elite Level,’ sometimes find this difficult to understand. I think it is important to set out your philosophy from day 1, as soon as you can! Not only for your players, coaches at the club but also for the parents. Ultimately they have more contact time with the children/players can effect the players massively.

Which one do you value most?
One of our questions in the workshop was also how do we plan our season syllabus? We looked at a number of different questions on tables that also may effect this, but also how this is affected too. We believe after being told to try and summaries in 5 points the following:
Find out the Club Philosophy from the top down – what do they want from Adult, through to Mini Soccer?
Find out their aim & objectives; but also develop your own
Evaluation Period – Pre Season work out what your players need, as a unit, as a team but also individually. This also should consider the 4 corner model too.
Structure Syllabus – look at the above, to develop your syllabus. This needs to be something that you can adapt too – a guideline can help but will change at a constant during the course of the season.
ADAPTABILITY – Believe, Change if their is a need!
Something Ben Bartlett also spoke about in his presentation was Nested Goals. He came up with a slide on this concept that I hadn’t necessarily covered in too much depth previously.
He looked at:
If you can do some research into this I would throughout recommend it; or alternatively wait for me too do some!
Ben also presented a great slide on ‘progress through opportunities,’ and how from his time at Chelsea the Ladies & Girls team had a structure and a progression for players at the club. As they don’t have or didn’t have the finance from when he was their compared to some of the other ladies clubs; he believed this was very important to their gradual success.
So what are the Attacking Principles of Play?
Now, these are areas that we are supposedly meant to have covered on our Level 2 courses. I mean I did mine in 2009, but I cannot recall like a number of coaches coming across this specific terminology. So it was great to understand how – when delivering – what areas you are meant to coach & very similar to when you delivered challenges on the Youth Module 3 follow a structure on your delivery. I think in its entirety – I need to learn these, develop these within my sessions, this will help me to develop and hopefully pass the course also.
We looked at making all of our future sessions position based. We spoke about different systems that actually allow you to coach more attacking principles. One of the systems was the 4-3-3 as it allows you to create more diamond shapes, which ultimately allows for more players to be able to receive the ball.
We also looked at 3 different terms within attacking principles of play – something we considered was System, Strategy & Tactics. Below are some of the views that we discussed by all coaches – but also put forward to the tutors of the course.

What shape will you set up?
Roles & Responsabilities
To be adaptive

What will you do?
Game Plan – to achieve a result? To achieve a certain objective?
How your going to do it
A plan to achieve your objective
Restarts (Set Pieces.)
Adapt – Change it based on how the team is doing?
An overview I believe of these are the following:
System – How we will set up
Strategy – What we will do
Tactics – How we will do it
We were also asked about what the follow mean?
Possesion –
Support –
Dispersal –
Can you come up with the answers?

I hope you enjoyed the read,
Please feel free to follow or contact me on ross.brooks@coerver.co.uk or on Twitter @CoerverRoss
Many Thanks,
Ross Brooks.

Goal Cards

Download the Goal Cards for players that need specific work; give them feedback on exercises they can do at home to develop individually. Once they have completed the task, they bring back the card and you give them a different challenge.

Goal Cards

Please feel free to follow or contact me on ross.brooks@coerver.co.uk or on Twitter @CoerverRoss

Many Thanks,
Ross Brooks