Monday, September 1, 2014

Proactive’ or ‘reactive’?

There are many successful playing styles in soccer world. Some teams take defending as their starting point. Their first priority is not to concede goals and their playing style and team organization is attuned to that. They allow the opponent to have a lot of possession and defend as a compact unit in their own half. When the opponent loses the ball in these tight areas, they try to strike on the counter attack. I call this a reactive playing style and some teams have been and still are very successful playing the game this way.

Other teams take attacking as the starting point and their first priority is to score goals. Their playing style and team organisation is attuned to putting the opponent under so much pressure that they will make defensive mistakes and concede goals. These teams take the defensive risks of this playing style for granted, counting on the fact that they will always score more goals than they will concede. This proactive playing style is generally more attractive but also more difficult to apply successfully.

Between these two extremes there exist of course also many successful ‘hybrids’.

In defining USSF Soccer Philosophy and Playing Style I looked closely at the USA mentality and psyche, both in general life and in sport. It’s obvious that a proactive playing style corresponds best with the USA mentality: the fighting spirit of USA teams and athletes is renowned all over the world and USA always want to ‘go for it’.

Any thoughts?

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