How Globall Coach Is Being Used

By Dominic Casciato (@domcas5)

I’ve been the head coach of Brooklyn Italians NPSL team for the past two seasons. Globall Coach has helped us achieve two consecutive second place finishes, despite having one of the smallest budgets and youngest teams in the league. I’m writing this article to show coaches working at a similar level how Globall Coach can be a great addition to your staff.

The Context

For those of you unfamiliar with football in the USA, the NPSL is a national league, considered the third tier of US Soccer.

There are several fully-fledged professional teams competing in the NPSL, such as NY Cosmos, Miami FC, and Jacksonville Armada. They were all playing in the second tier last season, and once that league folded, these clubs had two options – join the league in going out of business, or play in the NPSL. They all chose the latter option.

Alongside those clubs, you have several semi-professional teams, such as FC Motown and Elm City Express, who pay their players, but are not full-time. You’ll find a lot of ex-pros on these teams, such as Julius James and Dilly Duka at Motown.

Finally, you also have amateur teams, such as us, in the NPSL. Every amateur team will have their own model that works for them in terms of recruitment of players, budget, etc.

Our model is to recruit the best players from local colleges and universities, along with players who have graduated from the club’s youth academy, and help them move into professional football if possible.

Focusing on players aged 18-23, we were able to help move four players into the professional game last year, and are aiming for more this year, now that the season has drawn to a close.

I’d definitely say that Globall Coach is a big reason why we’ve done so well in the past two years. It’s helped us to be able to compete with teams that have vastly superior budgets, and players with far more experience. Here are a few of the ways we’ve used Globall Coach to close the gap on those teams.

Tactical Principles

The main thing we use Globall Coach for is to explain tactical principles to the players.

We don’t have a pre-season to get our ideas across – due to US university regulations, we are only allowed to begin training on May 1st. This year, we didn’t have a full squad at practice until May 4th. Our first game came just two days later on May 6th.

That game happened to be against NY Cosmos, a fully-fledged professional outfit that had a six-week pre-season and several friendlies under their belt. They also had a handful of ex-MLS players, including two former full US internationals, in their starting line-up.

Although we hadn’t been able to train with a full team until two days before the first game, the staff and I were able to watch most of the Cosmos friendlies and come up with a game plan.

We quickly realized that they liked to get their full backs forward, pushing their two wingers inside, which would cause us problems if we were to remain in our 4-1-4-1 shape without the ball. It would be their 5 (3 forwards and 2 full backs) against our backline of 4.

We decided to counteract this problem by dropping our holding midfielder into our backline to make a 5-4-1 whenever they had secured possession in the middle third. We used Globall Coach to get this message across to the players before working on it in training. We then reviewed this and other key principles in team meetings before the game.

Tactical Principles + Video

Usually, we try to reinforce the Globall Coach animations we show the players by presenting them alongside clips of live games. Often, we do this in our scouting reports on the opposition.

First, we’ll present a Globall Coach animation on the tactics we are expecting to see from the opponents, and then follow it with video clips from their games. It’s also worth stating that in our league, the video footage is not always the best quality, which makes the animations even more important.

Against the Cosmos, we knew that they were going to press us high, morphing from a 4-2-3-1 into a 4-1-3-2, with a winger stepping up to join their CF in pressing our backline when we were building the game from goal kicks. When they weren’t pressing high, we knew that they would begin pressing in a 4-1-3-2 once we approached the middle third.

The video alongside the animation makes their approach very clear. While it’s playing, I’ll be talking, explaining to the players how we can take advantage of this, and what the dangers are. In one of our actual scouting reports, we’ll show a few different video clips to go along with the animation, in order to cover a few different scenarios we might face.

Set Pieces

Another way we’ve used Globall Coach to really good effect has been with set pieces – both attacking and defending. We’ve found it really makes things crystal clear in terms of describing movements, and ensuring everyone knows their roles and responsibilities.

Let’s try a little experiment. Watch this clip, and try to figure out where each player goes and what his role is for the attacking team.

Difficult, isn’t it? If you were able to work it out, I’m sure you had to watch the clip at least four or five times to know exactly what each player does.

Now, watch this clip from Globall Coach. How many times do you need to watch this to understand exactly what each player’s role is?

I’m sure you found that much easier to understand and digest. And that’s the beauty of Globall Coach.

Our players love using it, and in the modern age, where players have never known a world without technology, it’s important we embrace the tools that can help enhance their learning and performance. That being said, it’s easy for a coach to be overwhelmed by the amount of technology and statistics involved in the game now. So choosing the right technological tools to add to your arsenal is vital.

The great Bill Shankly once said, “Football is a simple game, complicated by idiots”. Thankfully, the guys at Globall Coach are doing their bit to help coaches keep it as simple as possible.

Thanks for reading,

Dominic

PS – For those of you that still haven’t figured out every role in that corner from Sheffield United, take a look at this video, which we found at wherethesmokegoes.

Paul Harper