The more football you watch, the more your football knowledge will increase. More specifically, the more critically you watch football and analyse the games, the more your knowledge will increase. There is a big difference between a top-level coach and a die-hard fan, in terms of how they watch a match. Try to watch football from a tactical or psychological perspective rather than as a spectator. It’s easy to sit down and relaxingly watch a match but by doing that you might not take as much information on board. You must actively assess and analyse what is happening in the match.
Make notes of your findings as the match goes on. Look at: the shape of each team, how the players interact, the game plan of each team, common trends, key areas of the pitch for each team, key players, and set pieces. It’s important to reflect on these components in every function of the game (i.e Attacking, Transition to Defend, Defending and Transition to Attack). Ensure you are assessing if anything changes as the game progresses. What functions are the team strong or weak at? I think it’s important to make an effort to watch multiple games from one team or manager, because the more you watch them, the more you will notice trends and common patterns. Over time, you will be able to notice the little details that teams do and how they change depending on the opposition or situation. You could even look at a team that plays with a similar style of play to yours. Watch them and see what they do effectively that could benefit your team. Watching football gives you more ideas and gives you real-world examples that you can use in your coaching points.
I find the more productive ways of watching football is to break it down into a specific topic. For example, next week your topic for the week could be “pressing in the opposition’s half”, meaning every match you watch you will assess the teams on that topic. Doing analysis this way allows you to zoom in on a topic in more detail rather than scratching the surface on many topics in one game. If you continuously do this each week, over time you build an excellent bank of knowledge. Another method is pretending that you are the manager of one team. Assess what you would change during the game, assess how the opposition can be stopped, assess where you’ll hurt the opposition and assess what you’d say at half time. Alternatively, you could do it from the perspective of a manager watching a match involving a team that they will play the next week. From there, you can plan sessions for the week and make a game plan.
This is an exact from my coaching eBook "Light Bulb Moments to Improve your Coaching", purchase the full ebook by clicking here.