Monday, October 13, 2014

Practice Planning

"The difference between the possible and the impossible lies in the determination"

Supposedly, there are coaches who say, in all seriousness, that detailed practice planning is just waste of time: It takes much too long, and nothing ever goes the way you planned it anyway, once you actually get on the field. Fortunately, the vast majority of us coaches know than "COACHING from the GUT" can never achieve the results we are after.

If you want your players make reliable progress in technique, tactics, and conditioning, you have to set concrete objectives for each practice session and then practice them in a focused way.

Practice planning in three steps:

1. Analyze the situation

"Analysis" means, first of all, a careful and comprehensive review of all the factors that affect your coaching throughout the entire season. These include player's motivation and attitudes, their social environment, practice conditions, and club structures. This initial analysis will primarily help you determine overall objectives for the season, long-term guidelines and training concepts.

Short-term planning, on the other hand, depends much more on your analysis of current matches. If you want t use your practice sessions to improve your player's match play, then you have to analyze their match performance, both as a team and as individuals.

2. Set objectives

On the basis of your game analyses, you can set training objectives for specific periods of time:

i. What were the most serious defensive and offensive flaws you observed, on the part of individual players, positional groups, or the team as a whole?

ii. Did you observe any obvious technical problem?

iii. Were players in good physical condition?

iv. Were players in good mental condition?

These questions and others like them allow you to determine your most serious problems, which you can tun reformulate as training objectives (e.g. "make the midfield more compact") and resolve with help of a long-term training program.

3. Make your plan

Now you are finally ready to actually start making the training plan. Based on your objectives, you can choose specific concepts to cover doing specific period (e.g. month, week, practice session). Then select the exercises and exertion levels appropriate to these concepts.

Any thoughts?

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