Thank you to everyone who read, retweeted or contacted me via email with ideas and variations for playing 2-Touch after the last blog. I am hoping a few coaches will leave comments this time so that we can have a group discussion but I am delighted to get such thought provoking feedback.
The gist of a number of the emails I received was that coaches didn’t like to play 2-Touch. The reasons given were very similar and can be summarised by this list
1 – It stops players running with the ball
2 – It promotes unrealistic decision making
3 – It stops players being creative
Every coach is entitled to their own opinion but this is how I answered the coaches who contacted me about not playing 2-Touch for the above reasons. If you can add further to the debate please do.
My thoughts are the reason you put a condition on a game is to create situations were players are able to repeatedly practice a behaviour or technique. Therefore whatever condition you put on a game it will have the effect of encouraging certain situations to occur repeatedly and others to rarely occur.
With 2-Touch you will see lots of 1st Touches and passing the ball and very few players running with the ball or taking players on. I am fine with this as long as it is a part of a balanced technical program were players also get to experience conditions on games that encourage running with the ball and 1 v 1s.
I think it is similar with decision making any condition you put on a game affects the player’s decision making often narrowing the range of decisions that can be made to create the situations you want. Therefore any condition can be called making the game unrealistic. Again I am fine with this as long as the players get to practice a whole range of decisions as part of a balanced technical program.
The last reason about stopping the players being creative was a familiar one for me. I certainly used to associate creativity primarily with players who like to run with the ball and go past defenders with a variety of tricks. However if creativity is defined as ‘finding original or unexpected solutions that have value’ I realise that any player can be creative at any time in any way on the pitch and limiting their touches simply changes the way they are creative not stops it.
In conclusion I would say this debate has improved me as a coach because previously in planning a condition for a game I have focused more on what techniques or behaviours I was encouraging and gave scant regard to what I was discouraging. After this blog I will pay more attention to all the effects of a condition I put on a game.
Below are some of the variations to 2-Touch that coaches sent me
– Alternate between giving one team unlimited touches and the other team 2-Touch plus give the players time to discuss how this affects the team.
– If you use up your 2-Touches then you can go it alone and try to score.
– If the passer plays 1st time the receiver can take 3 touches.
– One player on each team is selected and they are only allowed 1-Touch plus they must touch the ball in build up to a goal or it doesn’t count.
– Every player has to take 2-Touches every time they receive the ball.
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Till next time