Coach like the man behind Rangers title-winning season

Rangers have won their 55th Scottish Premiership title and my congratulations go out to the Head Coach Michael Beale. Michael was an integral part of the coaching team led by manager Steven Gerrard, working alongside Gary McAllister.

I met Michael way back when he was a coach at the Chelsea Youth Academy in Cobham. We used to meet up and he’d give me sessions to use in Soccer Coach Weekly and that led to him writing a number of youth coaching books for Soccer Coach Weekly.

We’ve kept in touch since then and I’ve watched his remarkable rise to the top. Michael went from the Chelsea Academy to head up the Liverpool Academy before going to Brazil to become assistant manager at Sao Paulo. He returned to Liverpool when Gerrard had just become the U18s coach. When Gerrard was appointed as manager by Rangers in Scotland he took Michael with him.

The statistics behind Rangers’ title-winning season are fantastic. Michael has been the coach of a side that has won 28 of their 32 Scottish Premiership games this season, drawing the other four with 9 goals conceded and scoring 77 – so far.

On the coaching side, Gerrard said: “I haven’t had the luxury of retiring early from the game – not having been a player in terms of having that pitch time to really become a coach who’s done so for 20 years, like Brendan Rodgers, Jose Mourinho or Michael Beale.

“It would take me 15 to 20 years to get as good as Michael Beale as an on pitch coach, to deliver sessions on a daily basis, so I let Mick be Mick Beale because he’s the expert and has the skillset.”

And it’s not just the manager who has praise for Michael. Former Rangers reserve team manager Peter Lovenkrands was so in awe of his work that he wished he was a player again.

“What he does with the players on the pitch is phenomenal,” Lovenkrands told BBC Scotland. “I remember he was giving me sessions to take down because I was doing the reserves; he wanted us to copy it. I was loving it. I actually wanted to take part in the training.”

You can get hold of sessions from Michael Beale with the manuals he has written for Soccer Coach Weekly.

In keeping with Rangers 55th title win is 55 UK Academy Small Sided Games. When you follow the games in sequence, your players will have all the materials that modern-day academies offer to their youngsters. Academies use these training exercises on a daily basis with their players.

His most famous book is 64 Small Sided Soccer Games. These are the type of drills that made Michael into the coach he is today. Each game guarantees sufficient touches for each player, enabling them to develop their “soccer vision.” You can run several games simultaneously, focusing on different disciplines, so that your players get the most out of each session.

So far this season Rangers have scored 77 goals. For a more focused manual Soccer Attack! is basically 80 ways to score more goals. The manual provides ideas to train players in a variety of attacking positions, with sessions that suit every skill and age range, and mirror game situations at the same time. Every session requires at least one shot on goal!

Rangers only conceded 9 goals all season which is Michael’s manual Perfect Defending in action. Coaching defending to young players is difficult – kids are brought up to think that scoring is everything. That’s why Michael compiled this manual containing a series of drills that focus entirely on defending.

Also don’t forget to check out below for the latest content on the website. And for any coach who is still in lockdown or has difficulty in getting the team together visit our online lesson plans – the Coaching Classroom.

The Coaching Classroom removes the constraints imposed by the time you have with your players giving you a wide range of ways to introduce and develop key principles of the game – without limiting the amount of time players spend with a ball at their feet.

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