The Best Article I’ve Ever Read…
by John Adams, No. 1 Soccer Camps Regional Director
Twitter has been a truly amazing resource for me as a coach over the last 5 years. I have been able to connect with coaches from across the country and across the pond to get new ideas, share my own and grow as a coach. An article I came across the other day was an interview with Xavi Alonso titled “Clearing the Ball is an Intellectual Defeat”
You can view the article in full here
Xavi talks about improving the mental aspect of the game.
One thing I try and impress upon my teams (college and youth) is to change the timeline of receiving the ball.
OLD TIMELINE: RECEIVE – LOOK – DECIDE – PLAY
NEW TIMELINE: LOOK – DECIDE – RECEIVE – PLAY
Imagine how quickly your team would be playing if you presented them with this challenge every time you took the field at training. This is something I try and hammer home with my players during every session. It is not easy for them and there is a lot of resistance initially. Simply looking around, creating pictures in their minds, not focusing on the ball and using all this information to problem solve is extremely difficult for them. It needs to be trained every single day.
I encourage everyone to read that article, then re-read it again later. Bookmark it as a favorite and refer back to it later. Incorporate problem solving into each one of your sessions. If each one of us as coaches does this a little bit better, imagine the benefits that will come of it.