I am serving as Director of Methodology at a pro club in Spain. I know. Please don’t tell them that I am American or that may end tomorrow. That fact is not as bold as the first change I made.
We eliminated circuit skill drills.
You know the ones where a coach splatters a bunch of cones and equipment out in the field and then assigns a series of prescribed steps that the players obey? Pass here, dribble there, shoot somewhere. The ones in which the players make no decisions. The ones that impress the parents but suppress learning. The ones that kill creative solutions one cone at a time. You know the drill.
What happens when you change one element within the ecosystem of a training ground?
A lot actually.
Coaches were required replace circuit drills with rondos, position play exercises, and varied training games. Coaches were asked to keep intervention points brief in order to encourage a high rhythm of play.
Ritmo, ritmo, ritmo.
We stopped thinking for the players and required the athletes themselves to look, interpret, and execute.
Mirar, intepretar y ejecutar.
Less us, more them.
More decisions. More touches. More energy. More focus. More fun.
I looked out over the training pitch last night from a perch above. I saw children fully engaged. I saw children competing. I saw children making decisions and learning to evaluate the consequences of those decisions. I saw high fives and frustrations. I saw learning unleashed. I saw athletes in action.
We said adios to circuits.
We said hello to a better academy.
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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