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The idea for this post comes from the excellent keeptheball.wordpress.com I have added diagrams and stats on current free kick success rates in the EPL.
When watching TRULY great players in any sport have you wondered how they seem to be able to recognise and assess a difficult situation, and respond quickly with the correct decision? This immediacy of judgement is neither luck nor a divine gift – it’s been acquired from learning their sport in a practical, realistic way.
Luis Suarez. Now with Barcelona, the Uruguayan is no longer in English football. But, when he was, he was a fascination. Why? Because he’s something virtually unseen in English football – a player who is unorthodox, to say the least, and who often crosses the line; a volatile mix of unpredictability and creativity. It’s hard to deny that there’s something remarkable about Suarez; a quality rarely produced by English football. The question is, will that always be the case? Will English football ever develop a player like Suarez?
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results!"
Making it as a professional football player, at any level is an achievement, There is some luck involved usually, but the majority of players will have had to work extremely hard. It does annoy me when fans call players useless, however it also annoys me when we call players world class (meaning the best), who are obviously not. So I have added a category, to differentiate players. I wont be getting into a debate on who is legendary or not, its my opinion and you will have your own.
The building of a house is a good example of planned progression. The customer’s vision of the property is set out by an architect on drawings. From those drawings the development methods to be used to construct the property, its costs and the time to completion, must be planned in a careful and organized manner or mistakes to the structure and delays will be incurred.
For most of us, our parents are our first coach. Lots of us can remember chasing after Mum or Dad in the garden or park whilst they dribbled around you until you did not see the funny side of it anymore. Finally, they passed you the ball, and you would set off on a somewhat shorter dribble before they nicked the ball back off you! You were getting your very first insight into the game with no formal coaching - just learning on the job so to speak.
Today, the emphasis in almost all education is on change – making things different, so that students don’t get bored. But, in football, it’s important that coaches are not swayed by the belief that every session needs to be different. For how can you master a topic in one week? Long term learning, and ingrained skills, are not established overnight.
What a great sport football is! Look at any public park at weekends or summer evenings you will see kids kicking a ball about. The weekend junior leagues are full of earnest enthusiastic youngsters playing their hearts out under the direction of well-meaning volunteer coaches and managers. Any winter Sunday morning there are thousands of sometimes overweight under skilled but always enthusiastic adults playing all levels of Sunday football.