How to improve technique in football

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How to improve technique in football

How to improve technique
Each player’s participation is key to the game, and training sessions must be organised with specific objectives in mind. Technique is first and foremost the playerball relationship. It is the way in which the player uses the ball under normal game conditions – with partners and opponents – but it is also and in particular playing while moving. Technique is determined by the ball and the points of contact. The ball is an elastic sphere with which contact can be made and which can have rebounds. There are two factors affecting points of contact: precision increases with the size of the surface area of the contact point; the smaller the surface the greater the speed of the ball. The possible points of contact are the feet (instep, inside of the foot, outside of the foot, tips of the toes, heel, sole, bridge of the foot), the knees, the thighs, the chest and the head. Factors for success of a technical movement:
– Good placement: anticipate the trajectory and feel its intensity
– Make sure the foot you are standing on is solid, use the arms for balance
– Contact point properly angled and flexed (relaxed when controlling the ball, tensed when kicking it)
– At the moment of making the movement, keep your eye on the ball

If the coach is only concerned with improving the performance of the team as a whole, he will soon realise that the individual level of the players is not improving. If they receive individual attention from the coach, players’ levels will greatly increase.
Methods for teaching technique
Repetition is key The planned exercise must give all the players the opportunity to repeat the movement being worked on several times. How many shots can the player take in one minute? In order for the repetition to work, the coach, when preparing the exercise, needs to think about the number of players, the number of balls, the source of the balls, the direction of rotation of the players during the exercises, the return of the balls after shots, etc.:
– It is preferable to repeat the same movement several times than to run through the full panoply of the young players’ repertoire in one session
– Repetition enables coordination to be reinforced

A key element in learning technique is the opportunity to have lots of contact with the ball, therefore having queues of players waiting to perform exercises must be avoided.

Demand quality
The quantity of technical training sessions is important, but the quality of the sessions is equally so, particularly in the basic training stage.
The coach must demand that the players concentrate and apply themselves for each movement. A high-quality movement is achieved by emphasising control, precision and the right touch of the ball rather than power. This striving for quality should begin with the warm-up and last for the whole session. However, the coach must also accept that the player will make mistakes: trial and error are a necessary part of progression.

In the training period, it is preferable to work on technical movements at a speed that is as close as possible to the actual speed of execution in a match. Optimal coordination must be combined with speed of movement.
In order for the practice to be effective, coaches should introduce elements encountered in real games: speed, passing sequences, presence of opponents and partners, fear of playing badly, fear of failure, etc. Those elements that make football difficult should be introduced at an early stage in the session, as good technique combined with tactics can change a game.
When technique is practised only in isolation, it is very likely that the player will not manage to use what he has learnt in a match as he will not recognise the appropriate situation.
A good demonstration at the start of a technical exercise is essential as it is much easier to explain by demonstrating than by giving a lengthy description, and in addition because some players will have a visual memory (they remember better something they have seen).

The demonstration will therefore serve as a model to be copied. The demonstration must be done correctly either by the coach himself or by a player and the coach should point out the key elements to performing the exercise effectively. The demonstration may take place at the start of the exercise, or the players may be given a certain amount of time to try to find their own solutions first.

Execution of movement involves perception and coordination and it quickly becomes automatic.

The best advice to achieve quality of movements is as follows:
– Learn to find the best position with orientation exercises:
• If a player has difficulty controlling the ball, he should not position himself too close to his opponents. The player should clear himself by dribbling the ball back to open space and try open up to facing the field.
• The coach should first try to adapt the manner of playing rather than immediately modifying the movement
– Learn to simplify play:
• The coach must teach players to play at their level, using the knowledge and skills they have and not overestimating themselves
Correcting and encouraging
What distinguishes experienced coaches from those starting out is the use of encouragement in their teaching and the quality of the corrections they impart to their players.
When the player does something wrong, the coach should give him the resources to be able to stay positive by:
– Correcting his position, balance or attitude with a remark or a quiet word aside, then encouraging him to try again
 – Not stopping the game sequence or exercise too often In general, the coach should give encouragement at delicate moments as well as motivating players to aim for better performance.
The confident player
As the player begins to make fewer technical errors, he will gain self -confidence and will gradually attempt more complex things.
If he remembers the points above, he will play confidently and will keep an open mind enabling him to find the best tactical solutions. Sometimes a player makes a lot of errors in a row during a match and gets discouraged.
In order to regain his self-confidence, the coach should give him simple things to do that may not make a contribution to the game but allow him to forget his errors.
Setting challenges
As motivation, the coach should give the players goals to reach for:
How many crosses did you manage out of ten attempts? Who can manage to do a double step-over?
It is also possible for players to set challenges for each other: Who can score the most goals out of ten shots?

It's time to train hard and make the ball the best ever friend !