“I thought that the field had its own characteristics… That wasn’t it.”메이저사이트
Communicating with Generation MZ (Millennials + Generation Z) born between the 80s and mid-90s is a task for all leaders of this era. It was natural for older generations who reached high positions to endure and sacrifice, but the MZ generation prioritized rewards over sacrifice and individuals over organizations.
Soccer, where the team comes first, is no different. The players on the ground are exactly the same age as the MZ generation. This is why FC Seoul coach Ahn Ik-soo (58), who was once called an arbitrary leader, decided to change. On the 16th, he met with a reporter in Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, a training ground, and said, “If the world has changed, we must change too.”
■ Autonomous Soccer for the MZ Generation Coach Ahn’s determination in Seoul, which introduced autonomous soccer,
is well revealed in the fact that he handed over all ‘decision rights’ to the players this year. The soccer team, which used to move in an orderly manner when the coach gives instructions, now moves on its own from daily life to training. The field training in Seoul, which I watched on the spot, reminded me of the American Professional Baseball (MLB) spring camp.
In the past, the Korean-style training method, which used to yell at players and run on short cuts, has disappeared. Coach Ahn sees himself as a helper who works hard to explain to help the players understand. He explained that in Seoul, which adopted tactics that value ‘space’, the momentary judgment of individual players is important, so the existing method is rather harmful. Coach Ahn said, “Football is a battle between a narrow space and a wide space.” Active players who make their own decisions in life can also play soccer well.”
As the players’ autonomy was emphasized, the home games were also changed to commute and leave methods that ensure privacy instead of training camps. It is enough to arrive at the stadium at the time promised before the game. As long as it does not deviate from the rules of the Professional Football Federation (one hour and 30 minutes before the game), even the ‘commuting time’ has been decided according to the opinions of the players. Director Ahn said, “We may worry about latecomers, but we are professionals.” An official from Seoul hinted, “We are actively conducting simulations in consideration of this from the field training practice game.”
■Guaranteed autonomy in the stadium?… “I will only be involved in 40% this year,”
coach Ahn promised to guarantee the players’ autonomy beyond going to work and on the field. He will create the framework of the strategy himself, but it means that the players run around freely within it. “If I was involved in about 80% of the game until last year, I am trying to reduce it to 40%, which is half this year,” he emphasized.
However, it is uncertain whether reforms other than Ahn’s reforms will have continuity. It is a supervisory position that is often compared to the life of a fly. Moreover, Seoul has exposed its limitations of staying in the lower water (7th to 12th) over the past two years.
However, director Ahn is determined to go ‘My Way’ without worrying about the hard blade. He said, “Rather than my honor, I will go straight for the brand of FC Seoul, the leading club representing the capital city of Seoul.”
Can his My Way, which presented a methodology for living with the MZ generation, take root in Seoul?
“Even if he is fired, only three coaches need to maintain this policy. If this policy is successful, other clubs will follow. Wouldn’t that be the way for Seoul to live as a leading club?”