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Coaching and Development Manager
Football Federation South Australia
52: September 2011
From the Editor
“The difference between 2-1 and 1-0.....?”
When I ask you; “would you rather have a 2-1 or a 1-0 lead, what would be your answer? With the advantage in your favour it might not seem to matter that much, it is a one goal advantage either way.......but there is a difference!
The difference lies mainly in when the goals are scored or maybe even in what circumstances? Let us say that Manchester United and Liverpool are playing a match at Old Trafford and Wayne Rooney scores in the 12th minute to put United in a 1-0 lead. If they keep that lead to half-time, they would go to the dressing-room feeling good. But, if in the 35th minute, Javier Hernandez doubles the lead for United to lead 2-0, they would feel even happier and quite comfortable. However, let’s say, in the 40th minute Liverpool get a goal back from Dirk Kuyt, and five minutes later the referee blows for half-time. Then it would be the Liverpool team going in the happier, feeling that the momentum is with them and they are only one goal behind, away from home and that they are in the ascendency. United will feel disappointed they conceded and are a little vulnerable, letting a clear two goal lead slip, and giving Liverpool a real chance of getting a spoil of the points.
These circumstances will undoubtedly affect the mind-set (psychological state) of the players on both sides entering the dressing-room. Some will feel elated, positive, motivated and encouraged, whilst the others may be disappointed, negative, but possibly motivated for different reasons. These perspectives will also be present as the teams return to the pitch for the second half.
A strange and interesting phenomenon and it is totally understandable that coaches’ feelings and perspectives will parallel those of the players. Yet as a coach it is important to make sure the players are not negative or disappointed when they leave the dressing-room for the second half. In the given example, it is important to ensure that the players of United see it as a (positive) 2-1 lead, but to deal with the effects of conceding a goal to reduce the lead in the correct way, possibly to seek to extend or reinstate the two goal advantage as a positive strategy. Dealing with situations like this is one of the great things about the football coaching profession, and possibly one that can easily be over-looked.
This issue again provides you with a multitude of perspectives and visions of coaching, training and playing (as well as the aforementioned conundrum) in many levels of the beautiful game from all around the World. By presenting to you such a rich and varied spectrum of coaching, SCI will inform you as the coach, so you will be able to learn for yourself and appropriately apply the right methods, styles and resources to suit you, the players and the team.
Yours in Soccer