Find out how Gérard developed players and learners through an overview of his coaching methodology.
Gérard's Game-style describes the vision of how his teams will play, based on the preferences and personell he's working with.
Unique to Gérard's coaching methodology is his use of Game-calls, game-specific communication used by the players.
Most coaches talk about making or restricting space, but don't know the detail behind how and why.
Our values and beliefs are what drive our behaviours and actions, they are what we go to when we're looking for energy.
Gérard offers free downloads for coaches to use in there everyday environment.
Gérard Jones delivered his research abstract paper at the Sports Sciences Congress: https://pro.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?tid=48f55afb-4781-4284-ad4a-ad5c016021fd&start=0.991718 (2021 Lisbon) outlining his Transitional Learning Model for using augmented information 'Transitionall' to guide the attentional search of athletes.
Advanced Decision Making Strategies, enthusing players to make decisions and solve problems by becoming more adaptable
Players make decisions on time, space and numbers limitations. Players will search the environment to identify key information relating to the postural orientation of their opponents, teammates and where the ball is and what space is available to exploit or deny. It's these decisions that inform the player on what to do, when, where and why (5-Ws) and can be broken down into the decision making process: Perception-Decision-Action
Gérard's Coaching Philosophy is defined into a 4-C Approach
This helps to shape how Gérard works with players and teams, as each activity is designed to offer players;
Every practice is planned to a high level of detail to maximise the individual within the practice, linked to their individual needs.
Coaching Philosophy is positioned to develop technically outstanding players, who possess high levels of tactical and game intelligence and are skillful in possession to create and score goals and resilient out of possession to disturb and deny goals.
By adopting this approach, we hope to achieve more decision making opportunities for the players, with more problems to solve through a gradual increase of interference, pressure, numbers, difficulty and challenge! With all practices offering choice and realistic opportunity to be able to practice the way we want to play through the learning cycle (Activation-Connection-Implementation-Reflection).
Individuality is key to success, as we want to embrace the individual within the team and develop their 'identity' in order for the player to become the best version of them they can be. The detail behind achieving this, is in how we design our practices and how we program our work (vocabulary we use) and learning focus.
Practice design Key Principles:
Programming work Key Principles:
- Language Used (Informational/Instructional Constraints)
- Use of Game-calls
- Player journey / Vision
- Help or Hinder?
Each of these principles are evaluated when planning, delivering and reviewing a training session or game, in order to ensure every minute is maximised.
All training sessions are planned around the individual within the team, and the 5x Ws (Who, What, When, Where and Why). The player is the 'Football Actor' involved in the 'Action'. The Actions in the scenario are highlighted and examined for What happening, and how many players are involved in the situation, who is involved, when, where on the pitch and why. Through Reality-Based-Learning all training sessions offer relevance and realism.
Gérard develops individuals through a clear learning cycle that is continuous and moves as the speed of the learner. It is based of Four-Phases of Learning; Activation, Experimentation, Connection, and Implementation.
The choice of words is critical as each word offers meaning by definition as well as purpose:
Reflection during action learning underpins everything, as this is where the learner reflects upon the experience and consolidates learning before progressing onto another focus or the same focus with an alternative perspective.
Throughout this learning cycle, the learner is making decisions and not in a clock-wise sequence as they may jump back and forth between Phases, from Activation and Experimentation, and from Expermentation to Connection and back, order to progress onto Implementation and even then can move back and forth.
This cycle achieves 'Brain-Centered Learning' as it is focused on wiring up the brain and making strong connections to increase advanced level decision making.
Here Gérard shared his insight into communication psychology with the use of Game-calls during an online Webinar for partner (British Football Coaches Network).
The use of game-calls offers players a language which paints a picture in the mind of the player on what to do, when, where and why!
These are simple, one or two word (trigger-words) that are used in and out of possession to instruct each other on solutions and actions in relation to what the players are playing against. They can also be used during set-plays and restarts or in certain moments in the game to instantly communicate a message to the team on 'advanced actions' they will perform that will catch the opposition by 'Surprise!'.
Players and teams that use Game-calls are more likely to become successful through advanced communication psychology.
Check out Gérard's book "Let's Talk Soccer" to find out more!
GSF Game-style is a statement that outlines the key philosophical elements of how we want to play the game.
The Game-style is played across the Four-Phases in possession, in order to effectively build the ball towards the opponents goal effective and efficiently.
The Game-style is played across the Four Phases out of possession, depending on what area of the pitch the ball is in, and what strategy we adopt vs the opposition's build-up.
The detail behind how we regain possession and what we look to do upon regaining, if we're looking to quickly break-out to score. Following immediate pressure on the ball or through a defensive block, upon the regain we have time-constrained challenges to break out and get a shot on the opponents goal, depending on what area of the field the ball was regained from.
Our coaching methodology is based on reinforcing key principles of play, that exist in every game when we have the ball in the opponents half of the field and when we don't have the ball and we're defending in our half of the field. By simplifying the game through principles of play in each half-of-the-field, we are able to paint clear pictures in the minds of the players through our specific coaching language.
• GO FORWARD – “Advanced Player Actions & Initiatives”
• POSTURAL ORIENTATION – “Levels of Space & Positional Occupancy”
• CREATIVE SOLUTIONS – “Attack with Speed, Skill, Strength, Selection & Surprise – 5S’s”
• ORGANISED SHAPE – “Considering What-if Moments”
• EFFICIENT APPROACH – “Utilising our Strengths”
• EFFECTIVE OUTCOME – “Maximising our Chances Created”
• DEFEND HALF– “Protect Half Entries, Defend the ‘Line’ ”
• DEFEND OUTSIDE – “Deal with 1v1, 1v2 & Crosses from source”
•PROTECT CENTER – “Stop Opposition play Centrally inside our Structure”
• PROTECT AREA – “Respond to Entries in and around Box”
• PROTECT GOAL – “Blocking Shots, 2nd Phase, Rebounds, Defend Line”
Within our Game-style, we want Positional, Numerical and Qualitative Superiority but we understand that this isn't always possible when performing in an uncertain, unpredictable and random environment we call 'the game' and therefore we need to ensure our player's possess the ability to perform when 'under-loaded', especially now that most teams will adopt deeper blocks of defensive pressure.
We want to always have protect in the center of the pitch and when a player is on the ball, ideally have 2 or more options on the ball.
1st Level (Action Space) – Player on the ball, making decision or an action without the ball in order to receive or retain possession, by affecting the positioning of their immediate opponent(s).
2nd Level (Shared Space) – The player on or off the ball, sharing space with the support of a run from a teammate that offers a passing lane (2nd or 3rd line pass) which may also include opponents occupying the same space.
3rd Level (Destination Space) – The area where the ball must enter for a teammate who is holding space or running into space to receive. This normally leads to an advanced area run.
In order to create space to either 'get on the ball' or 'drag a player / attact an opponent' in order to create space for a teammate to receive, we challenge our players to either make;
When out of possession, we want our players to be resilient and demonstrate controlled aggression in order to regain as early as possible and disrupt the oppositions build-up by adopting either of the defensive strategies in relation to either a 'High-Press, Mid-Block, Low-Block or Emergency Defending'.
When running to get the ball back, we talk about:
This isn't always when we've lost possession unwillingly, there will be occasions where we may purposefully forfeit possession in order to regain in an area or position on the pitch where we have an increased probability of regaining and breaking-out to score!
We term this:
Advanced level of detail comes from the positional orientation and occupancy our players adopt on the field, which acts as a form of non-verbal communication and influences our movements and actions across the three different levels of space: (Action-Space; Shared-Space; and Destination-Space).
Detail in how we transfer the ball, depending on the level of 'opposition block' - will determine how we circulate the ball horizontally in order to create vertical penetration, from our first level (Deep) to fourth level (forward)
Our game-style is built on freedom across all areas of the pitch! However we do underpin this with 'no-square balls in own half' and how players must recognise both the levels and state of the game, and when to play quickly and slowly.
The players must decide do we try to counter-attack or do we stay on the ball. Throughout our Game-style, players are faced with choices and what strategy to adopt based on their playing ability and the level of the opposition!
Their enjoyment for the sport is principle to everything and Gérard's coaching philosophy is about energising the love for the game
When the player's cross the white line, it's their game! They need to have the confidence and trust that they know they can make decisions to solve problems, whilst also knowing that the role of the 'Coach' is to guide and support should they need my help! Some coaches are overly talkative and controlling on the sideline, others are far too silent and disconnected.......Gérard's belief is that the role of the coach is a balance.
The coach isn't playing the game for the players but should he need to speak, he can offer support during the game when necessary, through a range of teaching styles/interventions.
The of Game-calls underpins this as players are given responsibility wihtin units and units within units, to lead, inspire and direct each other.
Everything we do as coaches is to prepare them for the 'Implementation' Phase of learning, i.e. them doing it! Making their own decisions not the coaches, as they're the one's playing the game.
Everything I do, I do to be the best I can be! With boundless energy and enthusiasm and a commitment to being better and having an impact
I care about how people see me and how I see myself, by respecting everyone that I come into communication with and ensuring I manage my reputation.
Every day is a masterpiece! The projects I task myself with completing are achieved to an excellent standard, thus having a lasting impact
Ensuring that I am consistent with my behaviour and actions as well as quality of work, which is high level detail, enthusiasm, honesty, meticulous and committed.
The Quality of my communication is the quality of my life. Every person I interact with I want, I want to make sure I build an outstanding long-term relationship with so that every experience is remarked upon positively. This isn't always possible but it's a target aimed for.
Here's a clip from the entrepreneurial documentary with Peter Jones where he visits leading entrepreneurs in England, with Chris Dawson (founder of The Range, multi-billionnaire) - explains how he doesn't mind juggling multiple balls, if you drop one at least then you know your limit but then when you become comfortable, can you do more! I've always had this mindset and continue to study and improve as a person, father, coach and businessman.
I make a 'Today-List' not a 'To-Do List', with every day carefully planned with a purpose followed by action
Anything is possible, nothing is unrealistic and if I believe it, I can see it manifest in form. I won't let other people's beliefs hold back my own on what is possible. Setting 'Targets' is key and starring at them everyday is a reminder to take action and make your visualisation a reality
It's important to understand not only how I see others but how other's see me! Perception is reality and key to being successful is 'Self-Awareness' and managing your reputation, to positively reinforce 'Credibility & Reputation'.
The power of story-telling cannot be under-valued. People will remark upon every interaction and experience they have with you. I want to be remarkable in a positive way
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