With both basic and advanced skills covered by previous blog posts I thought it was time for a slight change and to instead focus on how you can get the most out of training as an individual.
Over my time playing various sports one of the biggest mistakes I have found that most players make is to fear making mistakes and trying to learn new skills. This can also be seen with players not being willing to experiment with the skills they already know to try and improve.
On many occasions this leads to players who perform the same skills in the same way year after year with minimal improvement. Training instead should be the time where you push the boundaries of your skill to find your limitations, by taking risks in training you also learn what options you can and cannot use in a game situation.
Through the above you build the confidence in your own ability that will help all round.
Another large thing that many players neglect is having a target, a good example is in shooting drills where players will hit shots at random. Although you can build skill and accuracy this way it is far more useful to instead try and pick a spot(bottom corner across goal etc). This allows you to look at the hit after to see if it actually went where planned. This makes it easier to find any technical issues as well as to build up accuracy.
Obviously in the quicker pace drills where you are looking to get a quick shot off looking after receiving the ball is too late so is one area where i would expect players to be pre-scanning before receiving the final pass. This will allow you to work out both where the goal is relative to your current position and also if the keeper has got their angles wrong and left a particular area of the goal free.
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