Being a football coach is about passion for the game and an equal passion for working with people. It’s a multifactorial and multitask job in which the coach works to live himself through his players, seducing them to his Game Idea, his Model, which grows in each training and in each game, in order to express dynamically a group of behaviors that he helps to build up.
Despite the personal identity of the coach it´s the Model the most important entity to create and develop.
It’s a coach task the passage of his own Game Model to the group, but most of all the establishment of an idea among the players, which will define “what we are as a team”, really above of “what I am as a coach”. This idea is supported by values that are permanently shared in the team, which often come from the club itself, allowing for a collective identification and interpretation – the Identity. It's not about how we play, but about how we exist and want to exist!
Having a Game Model is assuming an Intention and to have specific and clear objectives. Basically, the Game Model makes us be, exist and that is why we can say “what we are is reflected on the way we play and the way we play makes us who we are”! This is the relationship between Model and Identity.
The Model is also open guide in permanent construction, a starting point for what we want to be in the way we play, because playing itself is already something concrete and is related to observed behaviors, to action, to what, if we consider the strategy, we can call Game Plans.
We talk about individual, sectoral, intersectoral and collective behaviors, we talk about things that allow us to play the game, about dynamics. The Model marks our behavioral intentions, not necessarily what we do. So, it is also legitimate for us to say that "we are what we are and not what happens to us"!
Discuss the game, analyze, dissect, communicate. The press room is the place to send messages and where the game, in its different variants, should be discussed and debated. These are some of the thoughts expressed by Miguel Cardoso and which always go hand in hand with what is central: his team's Game Idea.
Chatting with Canal 11's "Futebol Total" about my career, the times we are going through and challenges for the future.
Football and Pandemic
The challenges that the teams had to face in terms of training during mandatory isolation, derived from the global pandemic of COVID-19, were the subject of a series of five reports produced by Portuguese television Sport TV based on the analysis of Miguel Cardoso.
Let the children play
When, in April 2013, I went to Ukrania and arrived in Donetsk to coordinate the Youth Teams of FC Shakhtar Donetsk and coach the U21s, one of the things that pleased me was the fact that only from the U12 there were teams with formal competition and integrated into the academy's work dynamics. There was another pedagogical space that allowed the boys to play and where I sometimes went to talk to the "coaches". I realized that the spirit was completely different. It has essentially a social nature, in the sense of providing sports practice to children belonging to a poor population with very little sports offer and with an inefficient education system as well, where physical education was no longer than a vision of the future. I could have changed that reality and given it a different character! I didn’t do it because I didn’t want to and when I see what’s happening in many “training schools”, the attitude of many, the action of some of the so-called “sports agents” towards these children, I am convinced of how good were the options taken at the time.
I also remember that as the coordinator of the «Domingos e Rui Barros Football School», which worked at Campo da Bateria in Matosinhos, I had a meeting with physical education teachers, who were the ones who had the task of boosting activities. One of them said that he had a problem: «My boys sometimes leave the group and go to play in the long jump box, in the sand»! I smiled, of course. I told him that I was not going to give him my opinion right away, that he thought about it and that we would talk next week. So it was. New conversation and he asks me if I thought his classes were monotonous and if what they did, sometimes, did not interest the students ... I was happy! He reached the point that my provocation wanted him to achieve! Therefore, he concluded: «What need do you think that are fulfilling those children looking for sand to build castles during your activities? », « To play, for sure »! This was the starting point for a journey of transformations that that teacher started. Making football allow children to use what is so good about this game and its adapted forms, the ball, interaction, competition, playing, physical activity, to accomplish something so intrinsic to the childhood: playing. Just play!
Let the children play, whatever they want. On the street, in the playgrounds, in the most informal spaces that we find and where we can take them, if it has to be…They don’t need, with 9 years old, to already know the names of all football players! Above all, they can know the names of all the neighbouring children, the smell of the earth, the cold of the rain, the slipping of the mud, the colour of the sun throughout the day, and the crying of something that "on the street" did not run good!
By the way...
Bayern Munich to end U9 and U10 teams
BAYERN MUNICH has announced that its U-9 and U10 teams are ending, meaning that the Academy entry level will be at U11s starting in the summer of 2022.
The U9s will not end from 2021/22 and the U10s will be extinct from the end of this season.
“With this step, we want to achieve more creative freedom in the leisure time of very young children, who also have the opportunity to try other sports.”
Holger Seitz, vice president on the FC Bayern campus, said: "FC Bayern is aware of its social responsibility, especially for young football players in the Munich area and in the surrounding regions.
"With this step, children should be able to develop more time in their usual home club environment without pressure to perform and without additional time."
Peter Wenninger, sports director for the U15 age groups, added: "With this step we want to achieve more creative freedom in leisure time for very young children, who also have the opportunity to try other sports.
"Long-term studies have shown that learning different sports skills and abilities can have a positive impact on everyone's football performance."
In response, Manchester United Academy manager Nick Cox tweeted: "If this is true, you will see a continuation of a trend already taken in Swedish football, American football, Rugby. It’s very interesting."
“La Liga” International TV Show
Analysis, debate, exchange of opinions and sharing of knowledge, always with football as a backdrop and with one of the best championships in the world at the center of the conversation. Miguel Cardoso has been a regular guest in the program.
The prestigious magazine “Elite Soccer” invited Miguel Cardoso to write an article on the “Defensive Transition”, which made the cover of the June 2019 edition. “If coaches from around the world share their knowledge, players from around the world will benefit. Therefore, it was a pleasure to contribute a training session for Elite Soccer magazine and I hope it can be of support to many coaches and players.”, commented Miguel Cardoso.
In 2014 and 2015, Miguel Cardoso was one of the guests of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, for his Annual Convention, in Philadelphia, where he shared knowledge not only in theoretical sessions, but also in practical training. It’s with this sharing that we become richer.
Aspire in the World Fellows
Some of the main football clubs and federations, as well as former players and other figures of the football universe, came together to debate, exchange ideas and share knowledge about the game. Miguel Cardoso was one of the invited speakers, representing FC Shakhtar Donetsk, in the editions that took place in Paris, Berlin and Doha, in 2014 and 2015.