Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

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Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by Stonehouse on Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:26 pm

Check it out here... nice long audio interview with Garrett. And yes, again, I'm going to make you go to the Portland Pilots Facebook page. And yes, you should become a fan:

http://www.facebook.com/PortlandPilots

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by A_Fan on Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:32 pm

Good interview, thanks for posting it. I thought it very enlightening when Garrett talked about their substitution philosphy.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by Indigo Kid on Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:35 am

Listening to this interview it is obvious that Pilot soccer is a class organization and Garrett is a class individual.
He speaks so highly of his players. He spreads praise to the whole team. He does not complain when getting sent away for NCAA quarter final matches instead of getting a home match. (I complained about this a lot) I am just very impressed with him.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:25 pm

I agree, Garrett does give a very good interview.

However, I'm not so sure about his substitution philosophy; especially if the primary goal is to win "THE CHAMPIONSHIP".

To do that, UP needs to get past the A-Teams (i.e. UNC, UCLA,Stanford) whose coaches substitute freely to get fresh legs on the field.

In soccer, control is good but speed kills.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:27 pm

Clive thought that as soon as you substitute, you are by definition putting less than your best players on the field.

in both National championships UP won, the starting players only came out for injury or, in the case of the second one, when they had beaten free substituting UCLA into submission.

<edit. in the 2005 game, UP made three substitutions in the game.
UCLA, with their reputation of free substitutions, Made ONE!

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:13 pm

You are quite right.

And I have to admit, if I had players like Christine Sinclair, Megan Rapino, Natalie Budge, Lindsey Huie, Angie Woznuk, and Stephanie (Lopez) Cox playing on my team -- I probably wouldn't sub them either!

However, consider the case of UNC (winner of 20 of the last 27 National Championships).

Last year in the Championship Tournament, they made the following number of (substitutions): High Point (9), Georgia (9), Maryland (5), Wake Forrest (9), Notre Dame (6), Stanford (4).

I just think it's hard to argue with THAT KIND of success.

Go Pilots!!

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by ninjapizza on Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:32 pm

In 2005 Garrett made a point of mentioning that he felt when he made a substitution, the level of play never dropped.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by Harry Redknapp on Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:41 pm

I think it's also a question of building match fitness. You want to play your top players most of the game in the playoffs. To be able to do that they need to have played 90 minutes earlier in the season.

The point of rotating players between Friday and Sunday makes sense in this light because then you can get fame time and experience for players but also get them used to playing 90 minutes.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by Harry Redknapp on Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:42 pm

It's also about the true nature of the game. Soccer is 11 v 11. Over aggressive use of subs doesn't feel right to me - not at this level.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:54 pm

In discussions about U of P philosophy, I always like to see what Clive had to say. This doesn't necessarily answer this particular question, but it gets at the question of whether the goal is to win the National Championship or to develop players:

"I’m able to get information over to people in a way that seems to make sense to them and I enjoy that. I am not so much result-oriented as teaching-oriented. If it becomes all about winning, all you get is frustrated when you lose. I can’t say results were secondary, but they were kind of linked up with everything else. I think you always look to the next game – how are we going to make it better, not perfect, but nearer perfect? I get a lot out of getting players to improve their game but also develop as people. I think the two things can be connected.

....

"Winning is not everything, in fact it is just something, but the ambition, the want to do as well as you can is important, and that has to be based on an idea of what real success is. Young fans, young players who turn out for their schools, can take that sort of thing into their everyday lives. Why should anyone be satisfied by second best? Again, there is nothing wrong with coming in second, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying to be the first or even a better second."

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:00 pm

Clive was a great coach and teacher.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by Stonehouse on Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:45 pm

I think the key point he made was that substitutions should be made for tacitcal reasons (i.e. to get more speed on the field or to get more physicality on the field, etc.), not simply to bring in "fresh legs." Or, simply, if a particlar player has a nagging injury or for whatever reason isn't playing to their full potential, you should make a substitution.

At this level of soccer, every player should be capable of playing a full 90 minutes at a high level.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by color me purple on Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:05 pm

I agree that Garret also gives a good interview but in listening to the interview I heard a couple of comments that did not make sense to me. He talked about how excited he was about the depth of the 2010 team. However, in the same interview he talked about the strategy of UP in regards to subsitututions and how is was very different than that of a UNC because he believed that he needed to get his players ready for the next level of play (i.e. national team play, olympics, etc.) He also made the point of rotating players between Friday and Sunday and the players that he plays on a given day can get used to playing the full 90 minutes.

A couple of comments regarding those statements:
1) How do you develop and use that depth if you are only playing approximately 14 of your 23-24 players?
2) Is he saying that all of his starting 11 are national team players and that is one of his motivations for his lack of subsitutions. I agree that we have a strong team that has national caliber players, but I thought soccer was about team play, not individual play. I have seen teams that did not have a large number of "marquee players" that did extremely well becauase they played as a team. Team unity sometimes comes from a fair number of players getting an opportunity to play even if it's not major minutes.
3) He talked about the rotation of players from Friday to Sunday games. Has anybody really seen this happen?

I agree with purplepetunia, while the Pilots are a very good team and have won two national championships, you cannot argue with a team strategy like North Carolina that has won 20 National Championships!

Just my humble opinion

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:56 pm

color me purple wrote:
Is he saying that all of his starting 11 are national team players and that is one of his motivations for his lack of subsitutions. I agree that we have a strong team that has national caliber players, but I thought soccer was about team play, not individual play. I have seen teams that did not have a large number of "marquee players" that did extremely well becauase they played as a team. Team unity sometimes comes from a fair number of players getting an opportunity to play even if it's not major minutes.
Of course they're not all going to make the national team, but most of the Pilot XI is effective for the full 90 without needing a sub. So don't use a sub just to use a sub. There are reasons beyond that when the Pilots bring someone on.

When the players know what role they are going to play, whether it's starting or coming on to add a certain element to the team, then the team comes together as a whole.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:07 pm

I am such a poor listener. Can you tell me at what minute of that interview Garrett even mentioned UNC? are you sure he wasn't talking about those platooning devils, San Francisco?

UP goes with what works for us. it's the smallest school in a small conference and for us, the international style works better than it has for just about anyone else in the NCAA. Saying we need to Platoon to keep up with the other top programs is silly. If it is the wave of the future, ask the other platooning teams how may championships they have won.

Heck, go to Big Soccer and you will get a whole raft of UNC fans who will tell you UNC doesn't platoon at all., charts and everything.(look for recent posts from Soccer Hunter and Enfuego for starters).
They used to do it, especially in the 4 overtime semifinal we played with them, but maybe they don't now. I don't really know, Anson won't schedule us.



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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:46 pm

I think coaching at a high level is a tremendously difficult task. First, you have to be committed to what is the best thing to do for each player. What is best for one player, however, must take into account the skills, fitness, soccer understanding, game performance, commitment, personality, etc., of each other player since each player goes through life in a bigger context than just themselves. Second, you have to be committed to what is best for the team as a whole. And, you have to figure out how to make these two commitments work together.

Neither of these commitments says you have to be committed to winning. Rather, you have to be committed to these two things and let the outcome (wins/losses/ties) take care of itself. So, you have to look at questions of substitution patterns, as well as all the other questions (Who starts?), within that framework. There are few, if any, "right" answers.

To make it even more difficult, part of the equation is the coach himself or herself and the coaching staff. What is right for one coach to do might not be right for another.

To me -- and I say this in all seriousness -- if a coach is really committed to his or her players and team, getting answers to these questions becomes an exercise in prayer: What should I do for this player? What should I do in this situation? Waiting for the answers to come and being committed to acting on the answers. Most people wouldn't call it prayer, but I think if you read Clive's philosophy carefully (not just the few quotes above), he was in a state of constant prayer about his players and his team. That is what made him the great man he was.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by Psychotic on Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:07 pm

If you listen carefully to his interview he makes pauses and thinks thorough his answers to make sure he does not upstage any his players. Specifically he was very careful in answering about his incoming class.

It is refreshing to see a coach place the team concept over any one player.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by fan from afar on Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:28 am

Another factor which I don't think has been mentioned is styles of play. UNC, at least when I have seen them, plays a LOT of high defensive pressure. This requires more effort and running by attackers and mids in their attacking third when the other team has the ball there, and therefore requires more subbing to keep these players fresh. I wonder if UNC subs less with their defenders than with front players (I don't know). UP, on the other hand, plays more possession ball so that other teams are chasing us more than vice versa, perhaps meaning less running for our players and therefore less need to sub to keep players fresh.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:51 am

This has been a very interesting discussion with some very relevant points being made.

I think this season could prove to be enlightening in at least two differant but overlapping ways:

1. In terms of playing philosophy: How does "possession" soccer stack up against "high pressure" soccer? The games in late September against Cal and Stanford should be a good acid test of this.

2. Is this the year that Garrett Smith steps out completely from the shadow of Clive Charles to become his own man/coach? He most certainly has good opportunities to prove his mettle, specifically:

How will he adjust to compensate for the huge loss of Kelsey Davis who was the heart and soul of his team last year, both in terms of playing ability and leadership. (Kelsey saved Portlands bacon more than a couple times last year.)

How will he adjust to compensate for the loss of Michelle Enyeart (and Charney Burk for that matter) especially considering the unknown status of Kendra Chandhoke?

What will he do to shore up his team's defensive back line which was wobbly at best last year?

Yes, I think this is Garrett's year.

To be honest, I think he will do very well. It will be a pleasure to watch.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by A_Fan on Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:50 am

Hmmm. Possession vs High Pressure? I don't think the style matters, it's the execution of whichever style any particular program embraces that makes the difference.

I guess we differ on Garrett a bit. I haven't considered him in the shadow of Clive since 2005. Ciive's shadow did still cast itself over the team that year, but watching Garrett on the sidelines after the championship game I saw a man who understood that. He let the team celebrate, while he stayed in the background enjoying the moment on his own terms. After that I never felt he was anything but his own man.

You cannot replace a Kelsey Davis nor a Michelle Enyeart and it will be interesting to see who steps up in those positions. The team has a plethora of talent and a coaching staff that consistently makes the right moves with the talent it has. As usual we will all chime in with the combination that we think would work best (me included and that's one of the things that makes this forum so fun) and as usual the coaching staff will ignore us and do it their way.

As far as the defense goes if the 3 starters who were injured most of last year can play this season the defense will be a thing of beauty to behold.

I agree 100%, this season is going to be a pleasure to watch.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by fan from afar on Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:01 am

I couldn't agree more, A Fan. High pressure, possession, long ball (ugh), pack-it-in (ugh, ugh) - You need the players and the coaching, whatever the style you play.

I don't think you replace players specifically with other players. You replace them by everyone who is returning being improved. The list of UP players who have moved on from Portland could staff a national team, in their primes, but the new players just keep coming in.

And, you're 100% correct about the defense. If everyone is healthy, it will be the strength of the team. We agree about everything - you must be pretty smart!!!

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by A_Fan on Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:21 pm

Ha ha, I don't know about that!

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by purple haze on Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:59 am

Are possession and high pressure mutually exclusive? The Pilots do both. When the Pilots lose the ball, they are on it again in a flash, giving the opponent very little time or space to react. The Pilot strikers and mids play both ways at a high level of intensity and skill.

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by fan from afar on Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:34 pm

They are pretty much exclusive, at least as I understand it. "High" refers to a part of the field - the offensive third. So, the "high pressure" we talk about, at least as I describe it, means intense defensive pressure in the high part of the field - the offensive third - in other words, defensive pressure all over our offensive end. Most teams, when the other team gets the ball, retreat to somewhere around the midfield line, and leave just the two attackers chasing in the offensive end. They are primarily looking to disrupt a little and get into passing lanes. UNC typically (when I have seen them) also puts their outside mids and maybe a central mid up into the offensive end when the other team gets the ball. They also play with only a three- man back line, leaving another player available for this high pressure. So, the high pressure is intense defensive pressure in the "high" part of the field. UP plays with intense defensive pressure around midfield, but not in the "high" part of the field.

You other coaching types - Does that sound right?

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Re: Top Drawer Soccer Interview with Garrett Smith

Post by fan from afar on Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:37 pm

Actually, PH, re-reading your post, they probably do not have to be exclusive. A team can play "high" pressure and still play possession when they get the ball. I guess my point was that "high" pressure refers to pressure in the high part of the field, not to intense pressure.

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