The Transition From Playing to Coaching

Playing – Seeing The Game Vertically

Coaching – Seeing The Game Horizontally

“Coaching guys for their Pro Licences, the stumbling block is that they’re still thinking like players. On the pitch, a player thinks from back to front. That’s why, when you’ve got your tactics board in the dressing room, you put the goals at the top and the bottom. A coach sees the game from side to side, and it’s totally different. As a player, you know what’s happening in front and behind; when you’re coaching, you’re responsible for the whole show. A lot of them just follow the ball around when they start, can’t stand back, because it’s what they’ve always done. Sometimes, when you give them a crowded 11-a-side game to work with and say “Stop — what happened there?”, they’re totally lost. You need to teach them how to isolate a problem within a game and then develop it, and that’s an art. You need a trained eye to do it. Some master it straightaway, but others can’t take that backwards step and see the big picture.”

UEFA Technical Director Andy Roxburgh on the educational issues with the transition from playing to coaching.