More than 900 coaches enjoyed BDFL’s 55th ITK
11 September 2012 – Hosted by the German AEFCA member Bund Deutscher Fußball-Lehrer (BDFL), this year’s international coaches’ course took place in Augsburg from 30 July to 1 August 2012 under the motto of “New Trends at EURO 2012 – Decision-making Authority in Attack and Defence”, attracting more than 900 coaches whose number included a great number of foreign colleagues.
Top-level football characteristics
In UEFA’s Technical Director, Andy Roxburgh, the organisers had selected an undisputed expert in all matters European and world football. Roxburgh pointed out top teams’ focus on possession, averaging some 500 passes (and more) per match, which shows the beginnings of a move away from quick transitions and counter-attacks.
Moving on to the core question of the roles coaches – regardless of league or level – are expected to fill, Roxburgh stressed the fundamental importance of a detailed footballing know-how in addition to personality and leadership qualities. Putting his case in trademark style, mixing hard facts with entertaining case stories, the Scotland-born expert once again energized his audience and drew resounding applause.
Decision-making in sport – the scientific view
Prof. Dr Oliver Höner’s talk on the Basics of Decision-Making in Football featured a detailed, well-documented description of the factors and processes determining the decisions adopted by players and coaches alike. He wrapped things up by presenting some surprisingly simple yet highly effective exercises to boost players’ decision-making potential, e.g. spicing up a routine 5 vs. 2 warm-up drill by introducing a few additional rules.
The time-honoured Augsburg Rosenau stadium was the venue for the practical demonstrations where Ralf Peter of the DFB coaching staff and Claus Schromm (head coach of German third league team Spvgg Unterhaching) showed tactical variations of the pressing game, stressing the need for a coach to have alternatives up his sleeve should the opposition know how to respond to his team’s pressing.
The DFB’s EURO analysis
The second congress day was dedicated to an in-depth analysis of EURO 2012 delivered by DFB coach instructors Frank Wormuth (Pro License) and Bernd Stöber (A License), who drew attendees’ attention to two key tactical devices – in defence, limiting the opposition’s choices by reducing their space and covering their pass lines, thus forcing them to play long balls forward, and in attack, playing through the centre, with even the wingers drifting in from wide.
In the afternoon, the two practical demonstration lessons focussed on fast ball circulation and quick transitions, as well as on creating goal-scoring opportunities, finishing, and playing the defence-splitting through ball.
Coaches and Managers – a special relationship
On the third and final day of the event, the high point was the by now traditional panel discussion featuring high-profile representatives from the world of professional football. With SKY presenter Michael Leopold acting as MC, head coaches Christian Streich (SC Freiburg) and Markus Weinzierl (FC Augsburg) looked back on their careers so far and gladly shared their football philosophy with the audience, prompting a lively debate between fellow panellists Andreas Rettig (ex-manager FC Augsburg), Rachid Azzouzi (manager FC St. Pauli) and Volker Finke (ex-coach and ex-manager).
Obvious topics were the pros and cons of one man wearing both hats, potential conflicts of interest, the need for a clearly defined division of labour at the top management level, as well as the growing influence exerted by the media, and how to deal with sporting failure.