One of the first full training session I ever did was for a technical program. The Head Coach told me the topic was ‘How to do a Step Over’. I asked him how he wanted the ‘Step Over’ done to which he replied “You know how to do one just break it down like you do with the juggling tricks.” He never showed me what he wanted.
Sound familiar anyone?
In fact over the next few years I was asked by many different Head Coaches of various programs to coach an almost uniform set of turns & moves. Sometimes I was given no instructions and sometimes I was. Often when I was given instructions they would vary considerably from the last set of instructions I had been given. It unsettled me that if this was an important part of a player’s development then why was it all so loose.
Whenever I got into a discussion with other coaches about the right or wrong way to do a turn/move it would regularly end up with everyone agreeing that we didn’t care how it was done or what turn/move was actually used as long as it was done at the right time and it allowed a successful outcome.
A number of years ago now I started to hear Coaches talk about how showing players how to do turns/moves actually stifles their creativity. The thinking being that if you give them a list of turns/moves to master you are basically saying these are the ‘right answers’ and you should use one of these. This video says it better
This started me thinking about why is it that we teach players a set of turns and moves.
– Is it to give them a variety of turns/moves they can perform so that they can have a good solution to almost every football situation that can happen?
– Is it ‘lazy coaching’ done so the Coach or Program can point to the set of turns/moves and say they taught the player that?
– Is it necessary if I don’t care what turn/move a player does.
– Can I simply provide guidance for players to discover what turns/moves work best for them?
Like I said in the previous blog (http://t.co/3WD27Idubc ) I have been trying to use SSGs more in my coaching and recently I played Line Football (to score the players have to run the ball over the end line not shoot into a goal). I introduced a condition that the goal didn’t count if a defender could touch the player with the ball going over the end line. As a result I saw a whole variety of turns that I have not taught these players but they still did them.
My point is I feel that the players will still turn with the ball and still beat opponents in 1 v 1s whether they are coached a set of turns/moves or not so is it a good use of the training time I have with them. I doubt any of us would stop a player who has a really successful turn/move from using it because it wasn’t on the list of turns/moves we coach.
Is it detrimental for their development or am I being more efficient by focusing on coaching such things as the timing of the turn/move, how the player disguised their turn/move, did the player accelerate away to gain advantage from a successful turn/move and can the player use a turn/move to go in both directions or both sides of a defender rather than focusing on what they do and how they do it.
Although I have not spent any time teaching specific turns/moves at a training session in quite a number of years now I will help a player with a technical point of a turn/move if necessary or suggest alternatives.
As always I need to hear other Coach’s’ opinions because we all want to coach our players in the best possible manner.
Thank you to everyone who contacts me and leaves messages on the blog it is really appreciated.
Look forward to hearing from you
Please leave a comment or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter @SeanDArcy66
Till next time