Funny how even after planning so many sessions I can still make really elementary mistakes. After one of my recent blogs I was chatting with a Coach about the Dick Bate Session in Spokane that is on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtLv34u3Lec ) and I simply got too focused on using one of the exercises in the clip in my next session.
The topic of the session was 1st Touch specifically with the ball off the ground with an overall theme of trying to create goal scoring opportunities. My problem was that I wanted to use this exercise so much that I built my session around using it rather than the topic.
As I have stated in the past I am experimenting with making my sessions totally games based so I am using SSGs from start to finish in my sessions.
(Is this what we do at training? http://wp.me/p5aQfW-1b )
I ignored this by saying to myself that this exercise would be perfect for the warm up and will give the players lots of practice with the ball in the air. It is a good exercise but I wanted the players to have to deal with the ball coming at all heights and speeds and with this exercise I had to artificially create this. I had an overall theme of trying create goal scoring opportunities too which this exercise didn’t address either.
I made the classic error of seeing something that I liked and so finding a way to use it rather than thinking is it the right exercise for this session. Only three months ago I was critical of a Coach who used an exercise that I suspect he saw, like I did, only 24 hours earlier on Twitter. The exercise was clearly just plonked in the session and had no real reason to be there other than he had just seen it and wanted to use it.
This episode has taught me a valuable lesson that I need to constantly focus on the topic of the session and not the exercises I want to use. The content of the session is there to bring out the topic of the session and not something that resembles the topic but you feel like using.
If you are wondering what I feel I should have used then upon reflection I think I should have started simply with 2 x games of 4 v 4 and put on a condition that a goal doesn’t count unless the ball leaves the ground in some way for each pass.
I did this as a warm up in next session and it worked perfectly. The players got bounce passes, driven passes, flicked passes plus everything inbetween to control. I didn’t have to encourage the players to vary the service because there was natural variability in the passes and the players still got to maintain the overall theme of creating goal scoring opportunities and I simply expanded upon this condition throughout the session.
As always I need to hear other Coach’s opinions so we can all improve.
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