One main positive of individual training is that the player learns in an intrapersonal setting, which may increase the chances of them understanding that certain topic in their long term memory (LTM). As we know, people learn in different ways, and at Beestera we try and expose the player to a variety of methods to embed the learning in their LTM.
We have recently turned to spacial learning as player’s watch clipped footage of professional players performing a certain task. We try to guide the player through the clip so they see (spatial), and hear (verbal) what is happening, allowing us to check for understanding with targeted questioning, which will ultimately lead them to applying the learning in drills (Kinesthetic).
Here, I’m with Izzy discussing a clip showing David Silva receiving the ball on the half turn and playing the ball forward quickly. Izzy has just turned twelve years old and watches the game regularly, so my questions are adapted to her experience and understanding of the game. We are huge advocates of Doug Lemov, and relate back to his book Teach Like a Champion to become better teachers. I use a variety of tools to gather data on her mastery of the clip as I check for understanding with targeted questioning, call and response, "show me" as we attempt to problem solve in a quick and efficient way.
0:01-0:13 - “Right now, he’s moving…to what?” The question is too general. The answer could be a variety of things. I follow it with a question (why is he moving?) to get a more specific answer. “He’s moving to create a better angle for his teammate” is a great answer from Izzy, and one that I was looking for, so I repeated it to add validity to her answer.
0:14 - “Where are his hips facing?” - an obvious answer to which Izzy points in the direction Silva’s hips are facing. I reinforce the importance of the direction of Silva’s hips before receiving the ball “Yes, so away from where he wants to be going.”
0:21-0:43 - “Now as the pass comes in, where’s the cue?” (We had previously worked on different cues that the receiver can use to know when the passer is about to pass the ball - head up, eye contact, backswing, body shape etc.) Izzy recognizes a cue (‘His foot’s back’) as this prompts Silva to adjust his body to receive the ball on the half turn - “So he’s recognized the cue, and has started to turn his body. His hips have turned, and then he receives it on the back foot and plays”
0:49 - 0:58 - “as the ball comes in, what is he looking at?” We had previously had a discussion on the importance of space on the field. “What space? Point to it” is a ‘show me’ technique that allows Izzy to be aware of how she’s doing, and ensures her actions reflect success and understanding. It also lets me know that Izzy has understood Silva’s perception. She points to the space correctly, and is reaffirmed (“perfect”).
1:03 - 1:28 - “If we continue to roll it, this guy Sterling, what does he see happening?” This question is more difficult for Izzy to answer as it requires her to focus on another player (Sterling), in relation to the success of Silva being able to receive this ball on the half turn. I had planned for error (she didn’t pay attention to him so I would have to rewind the clip) but her answer “him making the run so he backs off” with hand gestures shows me that she understands Sterling’s movement to take the defender away from Silva, allowing him more space to turn. I ask “taking who away?” just to reaffirm.
1:29-1:53 - Relating it back to our practice (prepping kinesthetic learning): “What I want you to add in now, is if your Silva receiving the ball (a challenge for her to be like a professional), before the ball comes into you have a look at how much space you’ve got to work with. Now he doesn’t do it because he knows how much space he’s got to work with, but what could he add in as the ball is traveling?” We have been working on checking surroundings multiple times, not just once, so I wanted to clarify that Silva’s awareness was really good, but asked what he may add in, to which Izzy replies “check his shoulder”, and I respond with “a second glance” to let her know she’s correct and reinforce her to check her surroundings multiple times.
Again, this is not a lecture into how things should be done. Merely what we believe helps players to have a total understanding of the concepts we are trying to teach which will allow them to execute on the pitch.
Thanks for reading.
Beestera Soccer Training