The Art of Asking Questions In Soccer Development

The Art of Asking Questions In Soccer Development

You have probably heard about the famous scientist Albert Einstein at some point in your life. If someone was to ask what do you know about him, you might say he something like, “he was smart and came up with the theory of relativity and some time travel ideas”. What people don’t usually know about Einstein is that he worked very hard to develop his genius; he wasn’t just born a genius with a superior brain. One of the techniques he used to develop his mind to such a high level was the “asking of questions”. He would ask himself very difficult and complex questions in an attempt to engage his subconscious mind. Since the subconscious mind is so superior to the conscious mind, he knew if he could direct its abilities on a specific task, inevitably he would become smarter, more creative and enlightened to a certain degree. Since the subconscious mind works 24 hours a day 365 days a year Einstein was able to accomplish great things by constantly asking himself important questions.

Now lets transfer Einstein’s method of “asking questions” to soccer coaching. If we ask our players questions, they will have to think and come up with their own solutions. They will start to become responsible for their own learning and feel empowered as they get to apply their knowledge. Also, by asking questions the players subconscious minds will become engaged, as it works on the answers without the players even knowing it. It doesn’t matter if the players can answer the question right away. The important part is you ask them good questions that stimulate their thinking in regards to their development. Instead of yelling, “Billy, don’t pass it there, John is wide open right behind you”, you could simply have said, “Billy I want you to think what are the other options you had in that situation”? Billy might answer and give you another two other options that were available.   You might then say, “Billy, that is fantastic, that is excellent you are able to see those other two options, now what do you think the outcome of the other two options might be”? Notice the questions are not saying Billy is right or wrong, rather just getting him to realize that there are other options to be considered. You also built his confidence by praising him and started to condition him that answering questions is positive with nothing to fear.

Next time you are coaching, make a mental note of how many times you come off negative when correcting your players. I am even talking your facial expressions, tone of voice and content of the message. If you find out that even unintentionally you are coming off negative and not provoking your players to think and take charge of their own learning; try the method of asking questions.

If you are interested in methods like “questioning and the subconscious mind”, you may be interested in becoming a “Cognitive Certified Soccer Instructor” – the course offers a detailed look into developing the soccer brain with unique coaching methods. You can sign-up for my online instructors course at

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