More Information - Simplify or Complicate?

Be careful with the amount of information being provided to players.

One thing that frequently separates great players from good players is their ability to process information and to do so quickly. The great players can see a situation and see one two and even three passes ahead while the good player sees the same situation and only can see one pass ahead.  This has nothing to do with overall intelligence but rather is about their ability to process information in this one area of their life.

Despite the fact we know the better players process this information quicker, we as coaches tend to try to provide too much information to the players who are struggling the most.

Instead of bombarding these players with more information, we need to find a way to simplify things for them as opposed to making things more complicated.

When working with younger players, rather than explaining an activity in a lot of detail (which forces them to process all of the information at one time) break things down into small steps and have them do one step at a time.  Once they master (or at the very least have some competency) with the first step you can then add the second step and then slowly build up to where they can understand it all.

How many times have you seen a coach of a young team stand in front of the team at halftime and give them 10 or 20 coaching points for the second half?  The chances they all (or even any of them) are able to retain, comprehend and then act upon all this information is very small.  Instead, pick 1, 2 or maybe 3 points and emphasize them.

The same thing applies to the designing of training sessions.  You might want to cover many different things during a session but the reality is that in trying to cover many different subjects little will actually be accomplished.  Pick one topic, break it down into small steps, make sure each step is understood and then build from there.

Starting small and building incrementally might seem like a much slower process than teaching many things at once but in the long run, much more will be learned and understood and all will benefit.

Just something to think about


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