Take Standard Training Exercises and Repurpose them.

I have been reviewing video from past NSCAA convention sessions looking for different ideas.  One thing I have noticed is many of the clinicians use generally accepted exercises or drills for their demonstrations. I have no problem with this. In fact, when addressing a coaching audience at a coaching clinic it can be good to utilize activities most might be familiar with to build a foundation from which you can teach to explore other options.

This morning I reviewed a session on Speed of Play and Speed of Thought presented by Ian Barker from the 2014 NSCAA convention.  Far be it for me to criticize an established talent like Ian Barker. He presented a solid session working through a progression of activities focusing on combinations and patterns to increase speed of play. In approximately 50 minutes there was marked improvement in the demonstration team.

Now, 50 minutes is a limited amount of time. It would not be realistic to expect every aspect of Pace of Play to be covered in the allotted time.  That said, the one thought that kept running through my mind while watching this session is "if all we ever do, is all we've ever done. All we'll ever be is what we've always been."  I had been using the same progression of activities with teams for well over a decade.  It wasn't until I modified the activities and more importantly the points of emphasis within the activities that my teams made real progress with pace of play.

As you watch the video look for opportunities to make some of the following coaching points or points of emphasis.

1) Know your next play before your first touch on the ball.

* This involves preparing to play the ball.
     Off the ball movement
     Properly positioning the body to receive the ball
     First touch being in the direction of your play or even being your play.

2)  Receive across the body whenever possible so the hips remain open to the field and you have options for play.

3)  Intentionally engage a defender as the ball carrier to create numbers up situations to exploit.

4) Efficiency and Economy of touches.

5) Ball movement is predicated on player movement.

*  Intentional movement to
     Create space for a teammate
     Into space created by a teammate
     To intentionally and purposefully move one or more defenders.

6) Know and utilize the Cues for Combination Passing

7)  Possession is not about moving the ball. Possession is about moving opponents so the ball may be moved more easily. We call it manipulating a defender or the defense.

8) Effective Communication.  Clear and concise.  Give a pass, Give information.  Be your teammates eyes when his are focused on the ball.

 9) If a teammate is under pressure move towards him to get in his vision and do so at appropriate angles for making / receiving a pass.

10) If a teammate is not under pressure clear the space around him so he make select a defender to engage OR better yet, clear the space around your teammate to intentionally isolate a defender to be engaged by positioning yourself to begin a combination passing sequence.

These are but 10 areas not (specifically) emphasized in the video presentation linked above.  It might be taken for granted that players already possess these tools in their tool belts, but in watching the video we see that is not necessarily so.  We often refer to items like the 10 listed above as the details of the process.  And it is important to remember that success is found in the smallest of details. 

Want to learn more?  Search this sight for any of the key phrases listed above OR if you want to see this in action, contact us a 567-204-6083 or tbrown@wcoil.com and make arrangements for us to come do a camp for you and your team.  Thanks for reading! 

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