Friday, March 12, 2010

Shadows Play in Sport

Shadow Play in Sports

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, whose players have found a keenness for shadow play without a football one of the most unexpected changes to their training regime, insist that they must adapt to his new philosophies if they are to prosper. Mancini finds his approach to match preparation under scrutiny but responds to doubters by saying “I understand that maybe they are not happy working on tactics but this is my method. I work because if you want to win the Champions League and Premier League you must be prepared very well for every situation: tactics, power, running,” he said. If these things are not good, it is impossible to win. I don’t know if they don’t like that. They are all working very well.”

Shadow Play – in which two full sides go on to the training pitch with-out a ball, with one of the sides running into areas of the field where threats are anticipated in the next match and the other side is responding to them-is relatively uncommon in English training regimes. The continual focus is on the shape of the team as they move around the pitch.

Even the contingent of England Players at City are understood to be unfamiliar with shadow play, which does not tend to form part of Fabio Capello’s training sessions, though those who have trained under Capello do talk of similarities between the two Italian coaches in the work demanded in chasing back the to defend the numbers.

The City player best acquainted with the new approach – which is far different to predecessor Mark Hughes’ preference for quick, high tempo games training is goalkeeper Shay Given, who has experienced it under Giovvani Trapattoni in the Republic of Ireland set up. “Sometimes it can be a bit boring, walking through things and doing shape and shadow play in practice matches, ‘Given said of Trapattoni’s methods recently. “But you do BENEFIT from it as a team, knowing what the manager wants is crucial.

In my work as an Optimal Performance coach I work to ensure the logical levels in an individual are aligned. The result is congruency in the individual.  This means that the individuals on a team can actually come together as a team and match the coach and managers values which means there is no conflict which leads to winning.

Next: Logical Level alignment

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