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Date:         Thu, 12 Mar 2009 17:05:07 -0400
Reply-To:     Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees
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Sender:       Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees
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From:         CP Schwartz <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:      Re: Card or Quick Restart?-copyright material
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I have considered journeying a little ways along the coaches training path, > just to have a better idea of where coaches (in general) are coming from. > I'm not interested in becoming a coach but more knowledge is always a better > thing. And also to see how much of the LOTG is actually taught to coaches > and how it is done.    This article should just about be hitting the mail (probably today). Please it is for your personal use only and the request is that it not be forwarded to anyone. But, yes, sometimes it does pay us well to see what the coaches are learning: Carl Ahead of the Curve By Carl P. Schwartz As Referee’s soccer coordinator, I do you more good trying to report trends that might happen rather than write articles about what has gone wrong on the field. Referees have long been encouraged to attend coaches’ seminars and coaches’ licensing classes — to find out what coaches are being taught. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) publishes the Soccer Journal magazine with insightful articles for coaches and players. The 1/09 issue of Soccer Journal had a piece by Jeff Tipping, NSCAA’s Director of Coaching and Development. While Tipping wrote an analysis of what should be learned from the international level, he wrote his piece to educate coaches at the youth, high school and college level. As referees, yo u might be seeing something that stems from Tipping’s piece. Here is a referee-oriented look at his article and what it might mean to you on the field. Lessons from EURO 2008. Due to the money, structure and advanced coaching, what is done in Europe eventually spreads to the rest of the world. • “Successful teams have a corps of attacking players that can operate at high speed, under intense pressure and in increasingly smaller spaces.” Dan Heldman’s piece in last month’s issue (3/09, Adjust When Big People Play on Small Fields) and my piece in the 2/09 issue (“Hold Your Own on Holding”) may give you tips to deal with these powerful players. More and more, “The message to American coaches is clear — technique, technique, technique …” according to Tipping. As referees, we cannot let poor defenses use unfair tactics to shut down skilled play. • “The analysis reinforced the importance of shape and systems. Successful teams have a good balanced structure — disciplined in defending and flexible when attacking.” Whether you are refereeing 4-4-2, 4-5-1 or 4-3-3, you need to know how to make adjustments in your movements, in your sight lines and in your width and depth to deal with those playing styles. (SOURCE OF 5/09 LEAD ARTICLE, HOPEFULLY FROM A NISOA NATIONAL INSTRUCTOR) ** Note as of 12 March - that article has been written and from the feedback that the previewers have given us, it is one of the best articles in the past decade for Referee soccer material! • “Forty-six percent of the goals scored in EURO 2008 were from counterattacks.” Get your repetitive sprints in during your workouts. The days of “pounding out the miles” are pretty much over. You need ladders of 20-30-40-50-40-30-20. You need a quarter mile, a 30-second rest and another quarter mile — repetitively. You need to talk with your assistants during pregame to let them know how they can best help you: “If you see me more than 20 yards back, here are the two most important things …” • Progressive possession football. That is not keep-away soccer (such as a team sitting on a four goal lead), but rather short, angled passes and combination play. Think of the German national style of play. Six or seven probing passes across the field and a far-side winger starts a run to the mixer as a ball is lofted in for a header. You must spread your vision and have an awareness of when that winger starts that run. It will be out of your peripheral vision if you are constantly watching the ball. • Restarts are no longer the king! With credit to referees, fouls are being called when an attacker takes the ball toward the penalty area. Defenders no longer want to give away=2 0a defensive-third foul and rise and fall on the lottery of a free kick. • “Attacking players were double-teamed more often than in other tournaments.” Referees need to be alert that either or both defenders may foul the attacker. However, the real key is that if A9 is being watched by B2 and B3, who is on A8? You need to know where A8 is, so that when that pass squirts out to the open attacker with space to the goal, you know where you want to go to get the best angle for that run! • “Teams have developed the ability to force opponents into predictable areas of the field and then double-team and win the ball back and counter.” For decades, that was exactly the strength of the U.S. Women’s National Team. They were even strong enough to do it in their own attacking end of the field; a concept known as the immediate reattack. Bottle up a team near a touchline or the goalline and close down all the passing lanes. Gets crowded in there, doesn’t it? You’ve got to get viewing angles. You’ve got to get help from your assistants (ah, again the pregame discussion). You’ve got to get off your diagonal and get over there if a team shows that pattern of defense. Off-topic, but related. In that same article, Tipping makes the statement, “…, we must develop a culture and a way of thinking whereby highly skilled and qualified coaches=2 0are assigned to coach the youngest players.” And historically, where have assigners placed the weakest referees? So, we thought a teen referee got “eaten up” by coaches before. Imagine the carnage that could happen if a highly motivated, intensely competitive, skilled, knowledgeable coach takes on that teen doing his tenth game ever? Veterans, instructors, assessors — it’s time to head over to the U-10 fields! There is a great deal of information in here. Referee will attempt to provide more help recognizing and dealing with styles of play. The information is just now getting into the coaches’ hands, so it may be a season or two before it filters onto your fields. Be ready. Sprint. Talk to assistants. Recognize patterns. Take care of skillful strikers. Recognize the open attacker with space. Carl P. Schwartz is Referee’s soccer coordinator.

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