I often refer to football as fluid chess.
And here’s the thing about teaching it; there are very few absolutes. Very few certainties. The reality is that players are posed so many open-ended questions. So many unique situations to be interpreted. And yet we tend to bombard players with absolutes and sell them as solutions.
“Come to the ball.” Not an absolute.
“Press.” Not an absolute.
“Pass and move.” Not an absolute.
The laundry list of traditional musts is a long one. Unless it isn’t. Consider an alternative.
My colleague here in Barcelona uses the word “quizas” quite often and I understand why.
What situation do you see? What are you trying to accomplish? What are your options? The decisions athletes make are theirs to make. What they see, only they see. What they feel, only they feel. Thus, we may be hard pressed to offer absolutes when it comes to teaching a game flush with variables.
“The right decision is the one you make in the moment,” we say. There will be time to reflect upon the efficacy of your decisions. But not in the moment.
Maybe come to the ball.
Maybe dribble, shoot, press, cover, and so on.
It would be so much easier to teach absolutes. Wouldn’t coaching be so much more convenient if we could? Unfortunately for coaches the game requires more; fortunately for players the game requires more. The game seeks those capable of finding and exploiting space in context. The game requires a fluid intelligence to resolve the fluidity of football.
What’s your next move?
Reprinted with kind permission from Todd Beane - Founder of TOVO Training and TOVO Academy Barcelona.
In TOVO Training, Beane has combined proven pedagogical practices of experts in the field of education with the visionary components of a total football legend into a dynamic and practical training methodology.
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