Last Friday we hosted a unique double header with tactical discussions and psychology in coach education. Our first guest was former Italy and Juventus analyst and assistant coach, Antonio Gagliardi. Antonio was on Roberto Mancini's Euro 2020 winning staff with Italy and discussed match preparation and scouting in tournament competitions, as well as his experiences in data and connecting coaching to analysis. Following the interview with Antonio, we were then joined by Soccer Resilience Founder, Dr. Brad Miller. Brad presented ways and ideas in which coaches could help build resilience with elite level players and teams. You can watch the full double header by clicking here.
One of the initial takeaways from the interview with Antonio was the insight around the clarity of the Italian system created by head coach, Roberto Mancini. It's extremely difficult to get the balance right between your system and adapting to the opponent, and Antonio shared some fascinating tactical examples of how Italy changed certain specifics in their system, but remained true to key principles. (See below)
Another key takeaway from Antonio's interview was his thoughts and insights around the amount of tactical information that we should share with our teams. Below he shares a powerful quote: "The more I prepare, the less prepared I am." This is in reference to an opponent who may have the ability to constantly change and adapt their game style throughout, and preparing for this may present more questions than answers for the players. I think this topic is very much applicable at every level of the game. Yes, there is a balance but where specifically is that balance and is that balance subject to change against specific types of opponents or stages of the season. It was also very interesting hearing how Antonio views tactical analysis as being separated for coaches and players. Does a player need to know every potential shape the opponent may present in the upcoming game in the same way a coach does? Again, I feel this is a really good topic for coaching staffs and analysts to discuss.