Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Should you allow your players to showboat?

Mario Balotelli’s attempt to score with a backheel during Manchester City’s pre-season friendly against LA Galaxy, resulted in him being taken off by his manager Roberto Mancini and instantly replaced by James Milner.

Team mate Edin Dzeko, who was up alongside Balotelli as he tried his trick, threw his arms up in exasperation. The LA Galaxy fans whistled, as he trudged off, Balotelli argued with his manager and threw a water bottle on to the pitch.

Mancini said: “In football you always need to be professional, always serious and in this moment he wasn’t professional.”

A player should never try to embarrass the opposition. Nor should a player embarrass themselves in the manner that Balotelli did with his rather pathetic attempt to score.

Last November, Cristiano Ronaldo upset Atlético Madrid when he bounced the ball off his back when they were losing 2-0 to Real Madrid. It is seen as disrespectful therefore players should avoid doing it.

If one of my players tries to showboat even in a meaningless match I too would take him off. Young players will have seen the incident because Balotelli made such a mess of it. Don’t be surprised to see them trying it at your next coaching session – if it happens you know what you have to do.

Watch the Balotelli incident below:


Never stop your players trying outrageous shots
December 11, 2008, 9:55 pm
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Skills | Tags: , , , , , ,

I love seeing an outrageous bit of skill ending in a goal. It always makes me realise that you should allow your players to try things during a match without telling them it was the wrong thing to do.

This is especially so in the opposition penalty area where something like a backheel or a swivel with the ball can create chaos in the defence and result in your team scoring a goal.

 Or a backheel that puts the ball into the net. It gives your team a huge boost of confidence when it works, but there should be no side effects if the backheel or volley or overhead kick doesn’t work. You should be pleased you have given your player the confidence to try it.

Check out this from Roberto Mancini in the Roma v Lazio derby. Here the outrageous attempt goes in… and it’s worth watching over and over again.

How to take penalties

I wrote an article last week for Better Soccer Coaching about how to turn penalty shoot-outs in your favour by teaching your goalkeeper how to read them. During my research for it I came across Francesco Totti practising his penalties during a Roma training session.

 If only he’d been at Euro 2008…