search
top

Jose Mourinho – Guest Blog by Ricky Clarke

Ricky Clarke is a recent graduate of the NSCAA Master Coach diploma.  The Master Coach program is the NSCAA’s response to growing trend in coaching education, continuous self-improvement.  Ricky’s coaching resume is very impressive.  He holds the USSF National A’ License, USSF Youth License & the NSCAA’s Premier Diploma.  You can follow his journey at www.RickyMasterCoach.com where he interviews professional soccer players, coaches & provides FREE downloadable sessions for coaches. 

Below he has shared 2 sessions that he watched Jose Mourinho perform at a Real Madrid training camp in America during summer 2012.

JM

The Jose Mourinho Way – Part #1

The NSCAA and UCLA hosted a Special Topics Course Tactical Thinking with José Mourinho last weekend in Los Angeles. The NSCAA is based in Kansas City, Kan., the National Soccer Coaches Association of America is the largest soccer coaches’ organization in the world. Coaches from around the world travelled to California to hear the methodologies employed by the “Special One”.

The Jose Mourinho – Three Part Series

I’ve broken the course into three main parts. The first post will involve ideas used during his first training session (July 30th) as Real Madrid prepare to face L.A. Galaxy on Aug 4th. The second post will discuss the two hour lecture we experienced with Jose Mourinho and the entire Real Madrid first team coaching staff. Finally, the last post will outline ideas used in the second training session that afternoon (July 30th).  I’ll also attempt to conclude some thoughts on the weekend…it was an unbelievable experience!

REAL MADRID – TRAINING SESSION JULY 30TH  @ UCLA 

Jose Mourinho sessions were extremely well organized. Below, I’ve outlined the training session notes I took during our first training with Real Madrid. Some key notes were:

  1. All Real Madrid first team coaches were involved throughout the session. Whether it’s coaching, player management or moving equipment (even Jose did).
  2. Jose Mourinho used TWO full-sided fields every session.
  3. The players had very little downtime. Breaks in between coaching were short and the intensity remained consistent.
  4. Everything is timed, players are directed by one main time keeper.
  5. Each activity lasted less than 20 minutes.

NOTE - Players stretched and participated in a light jogging session for 10 minutes before starting the session. 

 Part 1 – Speed & Agility Shooting and Small Sided Games 

  • Players: Every player was involved
  • Time: 20 MINS. The team was split into 2 groups. The groups would switch very 4 minutes, this helped keep the intensity high.
  • Field: 1 Full sized field
  • Game Conditions: The SSG was open, players could score in any goal, 1-touch play was encouraged, the playing area was very tight and compact. The game was intense and competitive, the players didn’t hold back.
  • Coaching Points: Technical perfection was encouraged, intensity was encouraged at all time.

Part 2 – Pattern Play with Central Midfield & Striker Combination 

  • Players: Every player was involved.
  • Time: 20 MINS
  • Conditions: Players were shown a set series of patterns, they were then encouraged to complete them at game speed.
  • Coaching Points: Technical perfection was encouraged, players performed at speed, intensity was encouraged at all time.
  • NOTE – groups would switch roles every 5 minutes. Jose Mourinho would spend time explaining the pattern, then watch and coach if needed.

Pattern #1 – Playing Through Central Midfield                  Pattern #2 – Playing out of the back

Part #3 – Small Sided Game & Functional Training of Mid-Fielders   

  • Players: 17 Players involved – 3 Players being training functionally away from the 7v7+3 game.
  • Time: 20 MINS (3 minute rotation for target players)
  • Conditions: Players were challenged to find targets before they could score. The area was tight and compact.
  • Coaching Points: Technical perfection was encouraged, 1-touch and combination play desired.

Game: 7V7 + 3 Targets 

Central Midfielders being functionally trained at the same time away from the field 

Part #4 – Cool Down and Stretch 

NOTE – In between rest breaks Mourinho and his staff always used these opportunities to man manage. They would pull players aside to discuss the session and their ideas. As you can see below, everyone cool’s down together.

Conclusions! 

Jose Mourinho once described Louis Van Gaal training sessions as:

“With Van Gaal i could arrive at the stadium a mere half an hour before the practice. I had nothing to worry about because the work was always completely defined. I knew everything we were going to do beforehand. From the practice objectives to the time for doing exercises, not forgetting the main points of methodology, nothing was left to chance and everything was programmed in great detail. All that was left for me – and for the other assistants in the different areas – was the training on the pitch. This meant that my work improved tremendously in terms of the quality because, as I mentioned, with Robson I didn’t get much practice as a coach on the pitch”

Source: Jose Mourinho – Written by Luis Lourenco

Now we know where he gets his organization from!

NEXT POST – JOSE MOURINHO “KEYS TO SUCCESS” PART #2

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho gives in

The Jose Mourinho Way – Part #3 

REAL MADRID – TRAINING SESSION JULY 30TH @UCLA (Second Session) 

Jose Mourinho sessions were extremely well organized. Below, I’ve outlined the training session notes I took during our first training with Real Madrid. Some key notes were:

  1. All Real Madrid first team coaches were involved throughout the session. Whether it’s coaching, player management or moving equipment (even Jose did).
  2. Jose Mourinho used TWO full-sided fields every session.
  3. The players had very little downtime. Breaks in between coaching were short and the intensity remained consistent.
  4. Everything is timed, players are directed by one main time keeper.
  5. Each activity lasted less than 20 minutes.
  6. This session involved varying levels of intensity and space, constant adaptation.

NOTE - Players stretched and participated in a light jogging session for 10 minutes before starting the session. 

Part #1 – Speed, Agility & 1V1′S 

This session involved numerous training exercises with varying degrees of intensity, they ranged  from tight spaces, shadow play and 1v1 environments.

  • Players: Every player was involved (GK’s trained in their own).
  • Time: 20 MINS. The team was split into 2 groups. The diagram shows one grid, but the session had two grids running.
  • Field: 1 Full sized field
  • Game Conditions: Players would run into the grid through the sticks and over hurdles. The defenders needed to win the ball and keep possession until the whistle blew.
  • Coaching Points: Players were encouraged to shield the ball and keep possession. Some players looked dribble (Alonso & Ozil) away from pressure.

Part #2 Functional Training – Attacking Midfielders 

  • Players: Every player was involved (GK’s trained in their own).
  • Time: 20 MINS. The team was split into 2 groups. The diagram shows one grid, but the session had two grids running.
  • Field: 1 Full sized field
  • Game Conditions: Attacking players had to combine going to goal. The offside was used to keep the game competitive and fair. If the defenders won the ball, they kept possession and use targets to create a 7v4 situation.
  • Coaching Points: Attacking players were encouraged to play 1-touch combinations in and around the PK spot area. Wingers would look to play a reverse pass if they got in behind the full-back. Attackers were encouraged to win the ball back “immediately” if they lost possession.

Part #3 – Possession with Targets 

  • Players: 20 Players – 1 Player functionally training away from the group.
  • Time: 20 minutes, each game 4 minute rotations.
  • Field: 1 Full sized field
  • Game Conditions: Targets can only 1-touch. Once you combine with one target, you must find another target in a different grid.
  • Coaching Points: Technical perfection, movement to support, space awareness. Players always rotate roles (targets).

NOTE - The younger players were being functionally trained to cut inside and take a shot across the GK with a coach.

Part #4 – Pattern Play – Attacking Movement using a 1-4-3-3 

  • Players: 11 Players –  The remaining players practiced combining and going to goal.
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Field: 3/4 Full sized field
  • Game Conditions: Players were shown two combinations by Jose Mourinho. Everything was expected to be performed at game speed with technical perfection.
  • Coaching Points: Technical perfection, movement to support, dynamic movement.

Pattern #1 – Wide forward moves inside, striker runs into space and crosses.

Pattern #2 – Wide player receives and plays a deep cross to the back post.

The training session finished with a 11v11 game on half a field (open play). NOTE – the players were extremely pissed when Jose finished the game. The sign of a good session, finishing it when the players are demanding more!

Please check our FREE Download section for the full session.  

Barca – Total Football

Last Mondays El Classico was so one sided it was embarrassing.  Jose Mourinho and his multimillion ego driven squad simply didn’t deserve to be on the same pitch as the slick Barca side.  4 years ago I had the pleasure of spending a week with FC Barcelona and I learnt back then the importance that they put into developing youth (you can read my report by clicking here).  So how many players came through the Academy that represented Barca on Monday?  What is the organisation and structure to their Academy and how does this affect their approach to games?  Read on…

My philosophy and coaching is all about developing young players that play with creativity and flair.  I encourage them to run at opponents and beat them with skill.  I also concentrate heavily on possession games.  I always use Barca as a great example of a team full of players that play with freedom, creativity and flair but at the same time are very disciplined.  When you watch Barcelona you will see triangles all over the pitch.  The player on the ball always has options.  They are such an exciting team to watch.

Against Real Madrid every player knew each other’s game.  It wasn’t a simple case of Barca having the best players in the world.  Every player instinctively knew where every other player was on the pitch at all times.  Out of Barcelona’s 14 players involved against Real Madrid only 4 where not developed through the Academy (Abidal, Alves, Keita and David Villa).  This compared to Real Madrid only producing Casillas with the remainder being assembled to the tune of nearly $500 million!

While Real and a host of other top European Clubs spend millions on players hoping to buy success Barca continue to develop their own home-grown players.  Messi, Iniesta and Xavi all came through the Barca Academy and cost nothing.  Barcelona’s youth Academy, which in Spanish goes by the name of ‘La Cantera’, meaning the quarry.

Other players to come through the Academy include Cesc Fabregas, who Arsenal took away at the age of 16,  Mikel Arteta from Everton and Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.  Barca manager, Pep Guardiola, also came through the Academy.  In his first season as manager he helped Barcelona win every competition they competed in, 6 in all, including the Spanish League title, World Club Cup and the Champions League against Manchester United.

Against United in the Champions League final, 7 of Barca’s starting line up were all produced from the Academy.  Goalkeeper Valdes, defenders Puyol and Pique, midfielders Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta and forward Messi.

When I visited Barcelona I loved the fact that the training complex was beside the Camp Nou.  The club has a boarding house that accommodates the older boys from the Academy.  Boys from the age of 13 or 14 that live outside the city are housed here so they don’t have to worry about travelling to and from training.  Typically they will train for 6-8 hours per week along with playing a game.  The club insures they also develop their lifestyle and attitudes along with their football education, preaching the importance of healthy eating and early nights.

The boys live, sleep and eat together.  Each morning they are bussed to the best local schools.  Barcelona stresses the importance of finishing their education to the boys.  They return at 2pm for lunch and siesta, with training early evening.  They do their homework in a library with access to private tutors and have a games room with table football, pool and PlayStations.

The boys have 3 objectives when playing matches.  First, they must be the more sporting team, committing fewer fouls and being less aggressive.  Then they must try to win by playing very well, more creatively than the opposition, with attacking football.  Finally they need to win on the scoreboard.

Reina and Arteta were great friends at the Academy.  Although Arteta suffered from homesickness and cried himself to sleep many times.  Iniesta also had problems with homesickness after moving from central Spain to Barcelona at the age of 12.   Saying goodbye to his parents at the end of each weekend would become a mini-drama.  Although Iniesta only had to look out and see the Camp Nou to remind himself of his goal to play there.

Messi arrived at Barcelona from Argentina with his family at the age of 12.  He had a growth deformity and no club in Argentina would pay for the drugs he needed to treat it.  It is no surprise that Barcelona took on Messi unlike in England, where size, strength and the ability to throw your weight around is highly prized.

The model of Barcelona is that 50% of their team should be from the Academy, 35% should be the best players from Spain or Europe and then 15% from the top ten players in the world.  Although the Barcelona Academy is so successful it is also producing players who are among the top ten in the world.

The Academy has 12 boys’ teams.  In the Academy each squad has 2 coaches and there are 23 or 24 players in each group.  At least half of the coaches have a UEFA Pro licence.  The club provides the budget, around 6 million Euros per year, and is fully responsible for the academy facilities and training programme.

The qualities that Barcelona look for in a young player is pace, technique and someone who looks like a player.  The speed of decision-making, the way he approaches the game, the vision to pick off a long pass – in other words, the mental qualities to go with the technical ability.  The emphasis is on speed.  When this speed is combined with top-quality technique, then they believe they have the ingredients.

From the age of 7 to 15 everything is about working with the football at the Barcelona Academy.  With the very small boys, the most important thing is to control the ball very well, to have the ability to run with the ball and to think very quickly and execute their passes very well.  They use the same playing system as the first team, so all the youth teams play 4-3-3 formation.  The development teams have to play attacking, attractive football.  Barcelona believe if they do everything well, the winning comes as a consequence.

They also like to keep an open mind and expose players to different playing roles as part of their education.  They work intensely on the individual skill, but also on group play, including each line of the team.  They train the Barca way which involves fast movement of the ball, player mobility, use of width, and a lot of fast, effective finishing.  They watch the passing movements of the first team as they provide the role model of the youth teams.

Another factor which helps continue the development of young players is that Barcelona have a ‘B’ team.  They play in the lower Spanish League. This helps the club continue to develop young players between the ages of 18 and 21 in a controlled environment.  In England the FA prevent Premier League clubs from having feeder teams in other domestic leagues.

The Barcelona model is based on a number of people providing specialist skills and all working in the same direction, with the same objective: to prepare players for the first team.

Based on last Mondays El Classico, the people behind Barcelona’s youth Academy are certainly working in the same direction.

top