How do we help the young player organise information and action?

Following on from the  previous blog “We have to be creative with our pedagogy to get people to reflect and think”  I will make some suggestions that may help us answer the question:

How do we help the young player organise information and action?

  1. Design learning sessions that are based on perception and action. A simple guideline could be

Avoid: The rules of the drill decide all the decisions that are made. The classic passing drill -A passes to B, B passes to C and so on is a good example of this.

Aim: The decisions are based on perception, on what the young player sees, the information that is taken in and how it is processed. Rules can be used as problems or boundaries that the young player must solve or challenge to attain an outcome.

  1. Create opportunities for the individual to learn how to learn

The objective should not be that the young players learn a specific “drill”. It should be creating learning opportunities that teach the young players to learn to think for themselves.

  3 simple games to help the young player organise information and action

Game 1

3v1 rondo

8 players are broken up into two 3v1 games

Let them play and from your observations use questions to create 2 rules.

You can freeze the play and ask the players to take up a position where they can receive the ball. Then ask them after they have taken up the correct position- “what do you see?”

Answer: The ball

If the defender moves in to a position that prevents me from seeing the ball what should I do?

Answer: Find a new space where I can receive the ball (Identify and occupy new space where I can see the ball).

Rule: When a player has the ball his other 2 team mates must try and move in to a position where they can see the ball. This way they will open up a passing lane.

After we have identified and occupied space how do we use that space?

If I receive a pass from the left which foot should I control the ball with? I want to have the right body shape that puts me in a position to execute as many decisions as possible?

Rule: If the ball comes from the left then control it with the right foot and visa-versa. Try and find the time and space so that you can carry out this task.

So from our discussions with the players we have created 2 rules.

What information must players take in to help them-selves make better decisions on and off the ball? How can we communicate this information with our teammates?

 Game 2

2v2 switch

4v4 game with 2v2 situation in the middle and 2 players from each team on the sides

We can use the rules from Game 1 to help develop the tactical understanding and improve the technical quality in this game.

Rule: To score a point the ball must be played from one side to the other through at least one player in the middle

This game can be a good opportunity to discuss width and depth with the players.

Development rule: If you receive the ball facing the player who passed you the ball then you must play it back with your first touch (We want to encourage our young players to find space and to open up their body when receiving the ball- this way it will be easier for them to take in more information so that they can learn to make better decisions)

What information must players take in to help them-selves make better decisions on and off the ball? How can we communicate this information with our teammates?

Game 3

Diag 2

2v2 game in the middle with four jokers on the side that play with the team in possession

8 passes is a point

Rule: When in possession the players in the middle must always take up a position that is diagonal to each other. The defending team tries to press as a unit and win the ball.

We can again suggest the rules that we created together with the players in game 1 to help with the development of tactical understanding and technical execution.

When in possession what information must the two players in the middle take in and organise so that they can execute the best decision?

When in possession what information must the players on the side take in and organise so that they can execute the best decision?

What information must players take in to help them-selves make better decisions on and off the ball? How can we communicate this information with our teammates?

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