Player analysis at grassroots level

Soccer  :  A decision making game influenced by Vision and Technique

There is no doubting the importance of technical players at the highest level, but young  players need to learn how to solve the problems that are presented in small sided games while at the same time developing their technique and skill levels.

If we separate the tactical (W hen and why do I do something ?  ) and the technical aspects we remove the realistic and basic elements of the game leaving us with drills involving technical repetition minus the tactical context. We need to avoid looking at soccer as an  individual series of skills or actions separate from the game as a whole as there is a danger that our evaluation of the player will be based more on “scores” as opposed to PERFORMANCE.


The fact that a player can juggle a ball with both feet , run through cones, successfully implement various turns and tricks with the ball in isolation says very little to me about that player as a problem solver under pressure.

3 thoughts on “Player analysis at grassroots level

  1. Technical skills are the fundamental base to build on further player development. These various tools – turns, feints & changes of direction – are first practiced repeatedly in an isolated fashion to perfect the movement. When mastered, drills are designed to gradually increase pressure until the player can successfully implement the tools in real 1v1 situations. The different skills are repeated frecuently in drills with no pressure and limited pressure to perfect details in execution and implementation. Perception of the game and technical skills are both important parts of a complete football player and giving less importance to the development of technical aspects shows just lack of knowledge in my opinion.

    • Hi KS
      Thank you for replying to the blog.I feel that you havent got a grip on what the point of the piece is. I dont think that I asking for coaches to give less importance to the development of the technical aspects.I guess that I am promoting a more game sense approach ie learning within games or game like situations to help develop the intellectual competencies.Having great technique is one thing but a good player applies the right technique at the right moment.Many of the isolated techniue training methods you refer to tend to develop ball watchers and many coaches who I speak to (Including Allsvenskan , International , Espanyol academy coaches ,English league) feel that isolated technique training while it can provide short term results in the long term it develops players that are not “thinkers”( game intelligence).. Any technique training I do , I always try and add as much match realism in to it..I guess like the good old days of street football (Zidane , Best,Maradonna,Cruyff,Messi,Xavi,Iniesta,C.Ronaldo ,CannCannovaro )

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