I do have lots of sympathy for the novice coaches I meet at the club I work at because all the mistakes I see them make I can remember making most of them myself. I feel if circumstances had been different for me that maybe I would still be making those same mistakes and be totally unaware that I am making them.
Importantly I do understand that I am still making mistakes that I am unaware of. This is the main reason I do this blog to improve as a coach. I am a firm believer in the saying ‘the more you learn the more you realise you don’t know’.
I was at a non-football seminar a number of years ago and the Presenter was challenging everyone to be better and in one part he said ‘If you can’t define it then how can you teach it’. It didn’t hit me straight away because quite simply he was throwing out loads of info and content but that comment stuck with me.
A few weeks later when I was writing a session plan working on 1st Touch I realised that if one of the players asked me to define a good 1st Touch I wouldn’t be able to tell them. I would be floundering around talking about getting the ball under control or keeping the ball close unless you needed to take a big touch into space or taking it away from defenders except when you wanted to take the defender on.
It was quite a moment as I then realised how many sessions I must have done on this topic and been totally unaware I am not even able to define what I am teaching in a simple statement. I can tell you at that moment I felt very much like those novice coaches I meet.
I have thought about this a lot and I have refined it to this statement
‘A good 1st Touch sets up whatever you want to do next’
For me the statement covers 1st time passes plus it covers players who have not made a decision beyond simply getting the ball under control as that was what they wanted to do next then make a decision on what else they can do.
It also covers a 1st Touch like this
It would be fantastic to hear from other Coaches whether they think that statement is true for all types of 1st Touches or whether they have a different statement that works for them.
As a little exercise has anyone got a simple statement that describes a good Throw-in.
Look forward to hearing from you
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Till next time