#playingyourpart – what I won’t be taking from England’s DNA

A couple of pieces of coaching technique I won’t be pursuing, from the “England’s DNA: Playing your part” conference last Sunday.

“NO, NO, NO – not like that”

And (repeated several times during a practical session) – “go on, go on, you’re in…oh, you missed that one”

“Trial-and-error” is a perfectly valid coaching methodology, but it has its limits.  If you are going to let your players learn from their mistakes, either let them get on with playing without comment, or keep any comments you do make positive.

#playingyourpart – what I shall be “stealing” from England’s DNA

From the FA’s “England DNA: Playing your part” conference, I will be taking the focus on “social” skills, from their 4 Corners model.

In particular, I shall be encouraging my players to take five minutes before a game or practice to work together to devise field settings and strategies.  If they don’t talk off the field, what chance is there that they will when they get on the field?

England’s DNA – how the FA define their philosophy #playingyourpart

I spent last Sunday with a group of football coaches from the FA East region, finding out about the FA’s new initiative, “England’s DNA”.

With presentations and coaching demonstrations on “who we are”, “the future player”, “how we coach”, “how we play” and “how we support”, the day offered both theoretical and practical guidance as to how the FA expects its coaches to develop the Future Player – from grassroots to the international stage.

For all the fanfare around the “DNA”, perhaps most revealing was the statement, in an introductory video, that there was, in fact, no fixed model – as soon as a document is written, it goes out of date (or evolves, to maintain the biological metaphor).

What was offered was a framework, beyond the “4 corners” (see below) for the philosophical grounding of football coaching.

It sounds quite high-powered – in fact, it was practical and realistic, and there are definitely lessons to be learnt.

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