Methodology, Approach, Philosophy (MAP) as a GPS for the team

In this article I will (once again), give my opinion about my beliefs and the way that I like to work on the development. Share your thoughts and ideas on the comments below.

Very often I hear coaches saying that they want their teams to “play like Barcelona, press like Liverpool, or counterattack like Napoli”, but in the reality they don’t know where to start, where to “walk” and where it will take them. It’s almost like going hiking in the middle of a big forest without any GPS, compass or any background in orientation. You may get to your destination, or find the exit, but you’ll never be able to do it again and/or explain how you did it.

Some clubs/teams already have a methodology implemented, that will help the coaches, but it needs something more. As a coach, you need to have a methodology (or use the one implemented by the club), you need to define your approach (I’ll clarify later), and plan your Philosophy. I like to call it MAP (Methodology, Approach, Philosophy).

MAP (Methodology, Approach, Philosophy) is like your GPS, you’ll set the STARTING POINT, you’ll setup if you want to AVOID “HIGHWAYS”, and you’ll also define your DESTINATION.

Methodology, it’s your (or the club/team) interpretation of the principles and fundamentals of the game, and how you want to your players to understand them.

Philosophy, it’s your beliefs and expectations about how you want your team/players to deal with certain situations. (it’s almost like the attitude that you want them to have).

Approach, it’s how you or your team will face the situations, good or bad, planned or not.

This three concepts are all linked, and they need to be explained and clarified to all the staff, and players that work with you. Failure to this can result on a “weak link”, and can seriously compromise the whole work done by you or your team.

“If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail” – Benjamin Franklin.

Putting this all together, you have plan for “your road trip”.

Tip: Get to know how to set goals in Soccer HUB’s online course: “How to set clear and successful goals to your soccer team?”

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Soccer Coach at Benfica Soccer School of Toronto and Soccer HUB content specialist.

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