© Frédéric Prochasson - Fotolia.com
Who doesn’t know this? The players complain again about boring practice contents. But how can I offer a variety during practice?
Many coaches constantly repeat drills with the reasoning that it is the only way to automate processes, and honestly, it saves preparation time.
My experience with „automation,“ „variety“, and „fun“ is quite different.
Bernhard Peters (Hoffenheim) said in so many words, „whoever only practices goal shots on Wednesday, will someday only be able to shoot on Wednesday.“
Certainly exaggerated, but think about it. Whoever repeats drills only practices set situations. This is not enough to train good soccer players because soccer is a free game, with never ending variations.
Kids and adolescent soccer...
In particular with kids and adolescent soccer repetitive exercises lead quickly to boredom.
Of course I am aware that kids really love repetition. This does not mean that the same exercises should be offered. Sometime the frustration comes and along with it the feeling of not learning anything.
One coach wrote us, „kids and adolescents need 3000 repetitions to automate complex maneuvers. No joke. When you direct them to execute one feint 30 times a week and practice 35 weeks a year, it still takes a few years until they can reproduce it 100%.“
Do I have to then offer the same drills? No, because the contents can be expanded and included in other drills. The kids and coach both have their adored repetition but not at the cost of variety in the practice routine.
Clearer: it is better to have 20 favorite drills than one. Kids and adolescents should not think of practice as an annoying required assignment but should be excited because we always offer new contents.
That is the reason why certain maneuvers should be repeated in various drills. The feint described above could be made part of a hundred drills. Something new always happens but we still automate the maneuver.
Another coach wrote, „It is our job to make what is boring into something interesting using skillful variation.
With older players it becomes more difficult to offer new practice contents. The concept of practice has grown over the years and any variance from that often brings criticism or skepticism.
Whoever attempts for example to shy away from runs in the woods or laps before the season begins has a lot of convincing to do in order to impart the sense.
It is often enough to cite Barcelona who stopped running around in the woods a long time ago.
Anyhow, you will not be measured on your practice contents but on the successes. If one has anything to do with the other is not priority.
Soccerpilot is convinced that fun and variety should be included even with adults. It is the only way that „hobby athletes“ will be integrated into the team.