This week's post comes from our Soccer Conditioning Experts at Soccer FIT. This article struck a cord with me because I think that as coaches we are sometimes guilty of the single-minded focus on technique especially for our youngest players. The post makes the point that we are in danger of obsessing over perfect technique to the point that we lose functional speed.
When it comes to “technical work,” can we be TOO technical?
Interesting question…and in my opinion the answer is “YES!” I understand that foot angle & toe placement when touching the ball is extremely important. But as coaches, we must ask ourselves “how much technique is TOO much?”
The answer lies in the product & end result which you desire as a coach – do you want overly technical, slower players that are unable to accelerate & reach “full speed” with the ball? Or do you desire more explosive, athletic players that sometimes struggle with their first touch & ball control? Obviously, most coaches would choose “C” – all and yet none of the above.
Quite simply, all coaches believe that if the ball slows a player down; then he or she must train “technically.” This makes sense…to a point. Most youth technical sessions consist of skill work with emphases such as “control”, ” don’t lose the ball”, etc. While control definitely proceeds speed on the soccer skill continuum, when is it OK to go fast?
Answer – As soon as technically possible. In other words ASAP, players should be encouraged to be explosive & creative – much like the players they emulate & yearn to become one day.
During the SoccerFIT GAMESPEED sessions, we promote COMFORT on the ball in early stages (i.e. warm-up work); but then quickly progress to a more aggressive (RUN with the ball) approach. In our opinion, players need to train more “aggressively” and “faster” with the ball. For more info see this previous post – http://soccerfitacademy.com/game-speed-camp-video-highlights/
Players must understand the bigger picture and overall GOAL of “technical” training – create space to give yourself more time to make good decisions with the ball (shoot, pass, switch, etc).
If the emphasis is MORE time, then players must play with MORE speed!
So what do you think? Can you focus TOO much on technique? Leave a comment and join the discussion.