Christian Lavers  |  ECNL President  |  January 18, 2021

Throughout 2020, one of the lasting lessons has been the need to, or importance of, learning new ways of working, or even looking at things in a different way or from a different perspective.  There is value and importance in reflection as well – looking back but with an eye on looking forward.  

Austin MacPhee emphasizes these lessons in spades in a riveting discussion on coaching and culture on this week’s “Breaking the Line” podcast.  In discussing the new statistics “packing” and “impact,” Austin makes the point that the goal of the game can’t just be possession, there must be more sophistication and intent than just keeping the ball.  Interestingly, there are metrics to measure that intent and execution – and they help explain why teams dominant in possession may be on the wrong side of the score sheet.

MacPhee examined the value and use of these statistics combining possession with penetration, using practical examples from European Championship qualifying matches and preparation.  The podcast is a must listen for coaches, and a good listen for parents who want to better understand how players make an impact in creating goal-scoring chances (and preventing them).  

Beyond statistics, MacPhee also talks about the importance of culture in creating a team and a playing style – with some insightful comments on the American game, youth development, and the best teams in American National Team history – men and women.  Fighting culture, or just as bad, ignoring culture, can create many problems in performance and development – a lesson that must be learned by coaches whether they are working with youth, collegiate, professional, or international teams. 

This in-depth behind the scenes look with a top coach,  with experience everywhere from the American youth sideline to the European Championship, is a great tutorial to start 2021 on the right foot.