Grassroots football teams in England face a common dilemma and that is the lack of contact time with players. The most that players of local football teams can expect is one or two coaching sessions at their club each week. That is definitely not enough time for proper football coaching. I believe that personal football training with either a parent or coach can help with this. Malcolm Gladwell explains in his book, Outliers, that to be an expert at anything, no less than 10,000 hours of focused practice over a 10 year period is required. although there is lots to debate with this theory, it gives you an idea of how young players become masters of their craft.
Each week, England’s elite academy players get about 9-12 hours of coaching. I think professional clubs would like to increase the coaching hours if possible. That’s because they understand that they need to make regular contact with their players if they are to show any drastic improvements.
One more issue is the fact that this is the digital age and more English children are opting to just play video games or use their mobile phones. When you factor in the reduced free outdoor playing surfaces then you’ll begin to understand why England is no longer producing the same amount of talented footballers as it did before.
What is the Solution?
Regular one to one support is the usual solution for schoolchildren who struggle in certain subjects. The reason for this is that the school recognizes that for the struggling child to have success with the subject and be at the same level as the rest of the class they will have to be given personal tuition. It is the same in football.
Kids no longer spend the time to develop the critical skills needed to play the game properly due to the demise of street football. I am amazed at what extra personal football training can do to make a player who’s one-footed and has a little understanding of the game into someone who understands the game better and capable of using both sides. My belief is that personal coaching benefits players of every age, but it is most beneficial for players aged 6 to 11. With this kind of coaching, I am quite convinced that good habits can be installed which can prove invaluable to any young player’s subsequent playing career.
The typical personal football training session has the following:
- Consultation/developing the program.
- Ball orientated warm-up.
- Critical skills i.e. Passing, Running with the ball, ball mastery, etc.
- Training, game situation (1v1,Decision making, awareness).
- Cool down.
“The coach’s job is simply to help the players play better soccer. He accomplishes this by accelerating the learning process”. Larry Paul.
What is Personal Football Training?
Personal football training hones in on the development of player technique as it is a more concentrated service. It is one to one or in small groups (2 to 6). That way, actions and situations that are usually missed are noticed regularly and easier to correct.
Every time I have a coaching session, my first priority is to create the right learning environment. To produce players who have great game understanding, I try to merge “street soccer’ elements in my methods. It can be difficult to carry out in one to one coaching, tough. But you need not be discouraged and just infuse more creativity in your coaching.
When players only keep practicing techniques then they will not know how to make the right decisions or when to use those techniques within the real games they play. An example of what can turn a simple practice from being isolated to realistic is the simple cue of raising your hand so that the player has to look at which hand you are raising while dribbling. One way of accelerating the learning process is by testing both the player’s technique and decision-making.
But Kurtis does this type of training have to be carried out by a professional coach?
The answer is clearly no!
There are many elite sportsmen and women who have mentioned the influence that their parents had on their development such as the likes of David Beckham and the Williams sisters in tennis.
As long as you are willing to take the time to do some research into training players 1 to 1 and also how to effectively support them away from training.
don’t begin to think that this has to be a long process that would be difficult for you to commit to, in the beginning, you could just start with 30 up to minutes a session 2 – 3 times a week around their current training.
You honestly really don’t have to pay for a personal football coach, if you want to that is perfectly fine but if you want to save yourself £140+ per month you can’t find all you need on the web for a fraction of that.
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Practice Makes Permanent
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, he claims that through his 10,000-hour rule, anyone is capable of achieving greatness but it is going to take a tremendous amount of practice. The claims that he made are very clear in many of today’s sports stars such as tennis superstars the Williams sisters. They repeatedly practiced and honed their tennis skills 5-6 times every week from a young age.
Another example of this is golf superstar Tiger Woods, who relentlessly practiced from his childhood days and this resulted in him being one of the greatest golfers ever to play the game of golf.
Now, I am not telling you this so that you will go out there with your child and train every day, I am sharing this with you to show you that just training once a week with a game on the weekend won’t bring much change to your child’s development.
You must also realize that this just can’t be any old practice but it must help transfer their skills to the game, so therefore it needs to specific to the game.
Personal football training is undoubtedly going to be helpful to players who want to improve their game. At a time when “street soccer” has largely been replaced by video games and social media, it is important to find alternative ways to help produce talented soccer players. It is also ideal for parents and players, who have a hard time getting to group training since the coaching sessions only require a small space.
Are you interested in giving your child some personal football training?
Would you like to find out how you can support your child better before, during & after games?
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