What do I mean by setting the environment to get what you want while coaching the players less? I don’t say this so the coach can be lazy and just watch training. There is a real skill to setting up a practice environment where players are naturally encouraged to do what the coach is looking for and if it is not happening, the coach can change the practice a little bit and get the desired result. I provide you with three simple examples of setting up a practice environment with different goals for each environment.
The first example is 10v10 with keepers and four channels marked out (2 on each side). The condition is that when in possession the team must have have all four channels filled with the wingback and wingers. However, the winger and wingback can not be in the same channel. This will naturally teach the winger and wingback to coordinate their movements together without the coach having to instruct them every moment.
This next example is 10v10 scoring on 3 small goals. In order to be successful players must move the ball quickly and change the point of attack to unbalance the defense. Attack one direction and then quickly attack the other way until a free goal can be scored on. The 3 goals encourage switching the point of attack quickly.
This last game is played 10v10 with scoring in the end zone. It is very difficult for a team to defend an entire end zone, so transition and speed of attack is emphasized in order to be successful. Once a team wins the ball they should go into attacking transition very fast and exploit the unorganized defense – especially because there is so much space to attack.
These are some simple training environments that can be created to teach specific aspects of the game. The coach can stop play and interject whenever needed or adjust the conditions if he/she is not getting what they wanted out of the training. My point is that over-coaching can be a problem. Try letting the game be the teacher. The coach can be a guide that steps in with clear and concise critiques or instructions when needed. if you can master setting up the training environment to get the desired outcome from the players you step back a little more and really observe your players.
Be sure to check out http://www.soccersmarttraining.com for all my online coaching courses.
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