A decade ago I was an Ironman triathlete. I spent some time training with Yannik Obenauer who worked as a Hoffenheim athletic coach and explained their approach to me. Hoffenheim was considered a German football miracle – it was bought by Dietmar Hopp, SAP founder, who decided to improve the team performance by focusing on software, statistics, and physical conditioning. I was interested because this was an extreme example.
Few days ago Barcelona lost to Bayern Munich with a 2 – 8 results. Such extreme events are good opportunities for learning, just like Hoffenheim was. These are my conclusions:
Sometimes management is not helping.
Some football clubs without managers perform better.
Star individuals do not guarantee results.
Star performers can cover up the lack of confidence in overall team performance.
Systemic approach wins.
Systemic approach focuses on all objectively relevant parameters and does not cherry-pick.
Barcelona lost because of poor management, false confidence created by star players, and less systemic approach than Bayern Munich.