- People learn through solving a challenge/problem (overcoming the struggle)
*68% of people remember more from doing and solving challenges themselves
- When a challenge is presented, then solved, learning takes place
- The more challenges we can solve, the more we will learn
Challenge = the ongoing obstacles that are presented in the football match
- Players learn by continuously solving the ongoing obstacles presented to them in the game
- the more obstacles they continue to solve, the more learning that takes place
How do we present more of these challenges?
- The use of small sided (conditioned) games
- Small sided games allow players to solve problems that arise in the match on a continuous basis. It takes the many obstacles that are present in the 11v11 game and places it onto a condensed format which allows them to become more frequent.
|Ehrenball-Finale by Martin Terber - http://www.photographyblogger.net/18-sweet-soccer-pictures/|
Presenting the Challenge – Progressing the Challenge
- An age appropriate challenge should be presented, once the challenge is solved, it should then be progressed. This way we continue to challenge players, pushing them to the next level all the time.
Easy to medium to difficult, becomes easy to medium to difficult (Start off slow, then progress)
- 4v1 in a 15x10 grid = easy = solved
- Progress = 4v2 in a 15x10 grid = medium = solved
- Progress = 4v2 in a 15x10 grid using 3 touch maximum = difficult = solved
- Progress = 4v1 in a 12x8 grid using 2 touch maximum = solved
- Progress = 4v2 in a 12x8 grid using 2 touch maximum = solved
*Above is an example of a simple possession game that can continuously be progressed to become more challenging for the players. As the players are able to maintain possession they then move on to the next, more difficult progression.
Let the Players Solve the Problems
The less you hear of the coach, the more the players are learning. If the challenge is age appropriate, the players will be able to solve it.
Example: If you ask a 10 year old child to put together a 20 piece puzzle, they can solve the puzzle. The same goes for a 14 year old and a 100 piece puzzle. This is because the puzzle is age appropriate, they are able to solve it without the help of an adult, they are able to learn which piece goes where by using trial and error.
The role of the coach = You are simply the guide on the side. There to assist the players towards solving the problem, you are not there to solve it for them.
Appreciate mistakes, without them we wouldn't have jobs
- Players, people, learn by making mistakes
- When you put your hand on the stove as a young child, you learned that it is hot, and that you should not put your hand there again.
- When a player shoots on goal, directly at the keeper who saves it, he/she learns that the next time they should look to shoot away from the keeper.
When a player makes a mistake, stay calm and help guide that player towards solving the problem.
“Don't answer questions, instead, ask them”
- Asking questions, the right ones, gains the right answers, which helps the players solve the problems themselves, which allows the players to think and to learn.
Development over Winning
As people, naturally we are competitive and have a strong desire to win. As coaches we must learn to control that desire.
Horst Wein - “Players need time to develop and grow. If you look at a fruit for example, you would allow it to grow, mature and ripen before it would be considered ready, the same goes for a player.”
As coaches we can expect too much too soon, we fall into the trap of results = success. We have to seperate ourselves from that type of thinking, to win all the time would be setting the wrong age specific targets/goals. As coaches, we need to focus on our age specific development targets and aim to achieve those, when those are achieved we can consider ourselves successful.
Setting Targets/Goals and Making the Plan to Achieve Them
As a coach you are responsible for setting the season plan. The plan should be a progression from start to end. Use the beginning of the year to set your teams standard, then design your plan to work towards goals that will improve each player, and the overall team. The season plan should be age appropriate and you should set targets/goals that are realistic and achievable.