“I thought we had no money and no name, but we had skill.” Gwangju FC head coach Lee Jung-hyo says.
In the professional world, leaders speak in terms of results. You don’t have to explain it. If you’re a good coach, you produce results and prove it. You’re judged strictly on results, so you have to make things happen. It’s not easy. If a leader fails to produce results, they are forced to take off their clothes. The professional world is a cold and scary place.토토사이트
Recently, there is a coach who has made a name for himself in the professional world. This is Lee Jung-hyo, the head coach of the K League 1 Gwangju FC. Last year, he promoted Gwangju FC from the K League 2 to the first division. This year, he led them to the K League 1 Final A (top split). Many soccer experts thought Gwangju FC’s surge would be short-lived. They proved them wrong. They proved it with results. It’s clear how much this coach sharpened his knives.
If a coach produces consistent results, there must be a reason. I was very curious about this. I wanted to ask him in person, but it was difficult because I didn’t know him personally. I was told that where there is a will, there is a way, so I asked a close junior and finally got a meeting. At the time, I had prepared a list of questions, but I couldn’t bring myself to ask them. I was more nervous than I thought. After a while, I felt more comfortable and opened up. Lee shared his honest thoughts with me. Above all, he was confident in his words. It was even better when it was based on evidence.
The source of Lee’s confidence starts with his preparation, which means that his level of preparation for matches is quite high. First, he analyzes the game video together. He works with an analytics coach and an analyst to analyze the game footage. The venue is 24 Cafe. They sit at separate tables to analyze and edit the footage. There is also a set procedure and schedule for analyzing video for a game. This means that they have a routine. They analyze video from the previous league game, the game of the team they will face on the weekend, and the team’s tactical drills. He also has a schedule for analyzing footage after afternoon training until late in the evening, and for analyzing footage in the morning before afternoon training.
When analyzing game footage, Lee puts a little more weight on the offense than the defense. He plays the simulation over and over in his head, looking for ways to score goals. The final decision is made through constant dialog and information sharing between the coach and the analyst. They set the optimal tactical strategy. Sometimes they have different ideas and arguments escalate, but Lee says it’s a very healthy dialog. While he can watch game footage, it’s not easy to analyze and edit it yourself. This process gives him a better understanding of the opponent and gives him confidence in his team’s training program, tactical strategy, and player selection. The game is already won.
Second, the team tactical strategy is very detailed. After analyzing the opponent, the tactical strategy is shared with the players and mastered through team training. Team meetings are also kept to 15 minutes or less to keep the players focused. If you’ve ever watched a Gwangju FC game, you’ve probably been surprised by the variety of tactics, defensive formations, and set-piece strategies. Lee says that to play the kind of soccer he wants to play, he needs to give his players specific and detailed instructions. “The coach tells the players to penetrate the backline, but he doesn’t teach them how to do it,” he explains with an example, reiterating the importance of detail.
“If you watch our games closely, you’ll see that when they try to shoot, our defenders are often hit by their bodies,” he added. This shows how detailed his coaching is. Gwangju FC’s Lee Eum agrees. “His soccer is definitely tactically detailed, and if the players don’t think or prepare, they can’t play.” Player A from K3 has an even more interesting story. “During winter training, we played a practice match with Gwangju FC, and I was surprised to see that the team’s tactics changed like a machine when Coach Lee gave instructions during the game.” Nowadays, players don’t play unless they have faith and confidence in their coach’s tactical strategy. Players also evaluate coaches. We can learn a lot from Gwangju FC’s performance.
Third, there is the motivation that the coach creates. The way he coaches, his leadership, or his words and actions affect the motivation level of the players. Lee is a man of his word. Outside of team training, he gives his players freedom and becomes the big brother of the neighborhood. However, in team training, he is quite strict. “I know that if the players don’t pay attention during team training, the team will change,” Lee said. The atmosphere of Gwangju FC’s team training can be seen. In fact, even if a player has performed well in a league game, Lee won’t play him if he has a poor team training attitude. For example, players who lack the ability to understand and execute tactics or show increased social negligence (laziness).
The coach doesn’t jump in just because team training is over. If there are players who need individualized attention after team training, he will take them aside for a one-on-one lesson. Depending on the situation, he may even use the morning to work with players. “I don’t think you should do what anyone can do on the field or what’s easy, I think you should do what no one can do,” says Lee. The reasons for private lessons are clear. Team training alone is not enough to improve individual skills. It’s a process that improves a player’s individual abilities and has a positive impact on team performance. Most importantly, it builds faith and trust between coach and player. What’s scarier is getting to know them.
Fourth, the coach trusts his players and gives them responsibility. He gives the team members precise role assignments and respects their opinions. For example, the physical coach has a lot of knowledge about physiology, so they listen to what he says and asks for and help him implement it. Or, when the medical trainer gives feedback on when an injured player will return, they believe it and look for other alternatives. You might think that this process is nothing. But it’s really important. There are many managers who don”t listen to their players and make decisions based on their own ideas and judgment. Of course, there are some who don’t. When they do, they create a sense of ownership and responsibility, and they perform better. This is because the coach believes in them and trusts them.
As Gwangju FC’s Lee Gun-hee said in an interview after scoring against Ulsan, “There is no other team that plays as good soccer as us. The coach always says that we should be proud of ourselves, so I think everyone is feeling confident.” It’s not easy for a player to say that in an interview. You have to have faith and confidence in your coach. Faith and confidence in the coach means leadership. Now, it’s hard to find anyone in South Korea who ignores him. On the other hand, for those who are struggling to lead, he is a dream. I hope that Bishop Lee Jung-hyo will be an example of a good leader.