Thinking outside the box today is about the poker professional Daniel Negreanu.
„80 % Analysis – 20% Playing“
Early in his career, Negreanu played relatively little, but analyzed your “hands” all the more. Nowadays, when he coaches other players, sometimes only a single hand is analyzed, but several hours. “Especially at the beginning of your career you have to understand the game from the ground up. Learn as much details as you can. Then it’s about applying everything and gaining experience with it. “
Learning for trainers: Of course, it is important to gain experience on the pitch, to coach, to design training, etc. The starting point on which you build your experience is, however, your knowledge.
Very simple example: You have been a trainer for two years without any license or training. So you have two years of experience. After two years you will do training or further education. Suddenly you see things in a completely different way and many experiences “were in vain”. Your knowledge is the basis – work on it!
„Focus on one Table at a Time”
In online poker, many hands are often played at the same time. However, the level of play decreases with the number of “tables” played. “It is often the case that you play simple and fundamental strategies. It can work, but it doesn’t really develop you. ”Negreanu believes it makes sense to play as many tables as possible and still be of the highest quality.
Learning for trainers: We are there for everything, especially in the amateur field. From pumping up balls to playing tactics. We know how hard it is …
Still, try to organize yourself so that you can focus on what you want to get better at. Also: take one step at a time. No coach in the world started and was immediately able to perfectly plan training, carry it out, hold meetings, plan game tactics and give good interviews. Concentrate on one thing first and then move on!
“What is your opponent’s Range?”
In poker, there is a lot of talk about “ranges”. These are simply intended to answer the question of which cards are assumed to be in the opponent’s possession or which cards are played by the opponent in which situations. Negreanu is considered the best poker player when it comes to finding out the range and ultimately the cards of the opponent. Of course, a lot of experience plays a role, but also specific knowledge: Which cards do most players play in which situation? What cards would I play in his situation?
Learning for trainers: Bit abstract, but interesting when analyzing opponents. Am I aware of what can in principle come my way? What are the basic strengths of an opponent? There is a difference between what a team basically has in terms of strengths and weaknesses and what they may have shown in a scene or a game. Put yourself in the shoes of the opposing coach: “How would you play with his / her team?”
„Concept of Tilt“
Who still knows the older Windows PC with the pre-installed pinball game? If the ball gets stuck between the two flippers and keeps flipping from right to left, Negreanu calls this “tilt”. He compares the situation in poker with players who show a wide range of emotions and no longer have a grip on themselves at the table. There are a number of reasons for this: poor performance in the last hand, many lost rounds in a row, provocation at the table and much more. The key point is that this player will no longer make good decisions out of emotion. He even goes one step further. The really good players never run “tilt” and even provoke it in others. For Negreanu, keeping this discipline under control is a player’s most important skill.
Learning for trainers: do we all know colleagues who “tilt” on the sidelines? Are you one of them and maybe you don’t even notice? Ask neutral observers about the game, if necessary you can also film yourself.
„The next Round always starts new”
A direct connection with “Tilt” is the knowledge that every lap always starts from zero. New cards, same probabilities. The less emotions influence us, the more likely players will be able to recognize this and “keep playing cleanly”. Even after a disastrous hand, Negreanu tries to bring herself back into “balance”. He allows himself to get excited briefly but intensely, “to get the trouble out of the system.” Often he closes his eyes at the table for a moment, but can then concentrate on the next hand again.
Learning for trainers: Football is an emotional game and we love it that way. But in order to achieve the best results (in terms of development, but also in terms of points), we have to classify some of the emotionality. How often do we as coaches get caught up in a single situation during training or a game? How often does it happen that a coach still accuses a player of “the one mistake” days later. Allow yourself to get upset, but then focus back on the situation. Your players thank you.
“No always – no Nevers”
No strategy, no plan, no principle always applies. There are no ultimate rules in poker. How also: if there was an ultimate strategy, nobody would play. Of course, every player needs basic knowledge and principles and will be able to rely on them in 90% of all games, but every player must have the flexibility to break their own rules.
Learning for trainers: Create a clear basis of principles and values, according to which you act most of the time, without allowing deviations in the case of absolute exceptions.
„Success is living an integral Life”
Negreanu describes success in his life as follows: “For me, success is not tied to a dollar sign. For me, success means leading a life of integrity. I want to do what I say: to others and to myself. If I can do that, I’ll be successful. Wins in poker are just a collateral benefit. “
Learning for trainers: let’s leave it that way …
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Today we take a loo at Daniel Negreanu and what you as a Soccer Coach can learn from his career.