01.27.13Annals of Coaching: A Lesson from my son’s coach
My son’s soccer coach (Khris Clemens) is organized, calm, clear, direct, knows the game etc. But his effectiveness to me is about practice most of all, and really about how he plans his practices. The best word I can think of to describe his approach is ‘cohesive.’ To me this is a big complement. It might also describe what’s so rare about him. His practices are connected, one to the next.
Example: At a practice a few weeks ago the boys were working on receiving the ball–opening up to face the direction of play, receiving across the body, redirecting the first touch, passing fluidly on the second, etc. They worked at this for about 25 minutes. And then he said:
“Boys, we’re going to work on this every practice for the next few weeks. Because I don’t just want you to be able to receive correctly, I want you to be able to do it perfectly. And I want you to be able to do it perfectly every time. And I want you to be able to do it perfectly without thinking about it so you can be thinking about what’s happening around you.”
And sure enough every practice for the next few weeks they did the same drill or a slight variation of it. Over and over. Because learning HOW to do it isn’t enough. He wanted them game ready, and to do that they had to be automatic. Which is, I think, the best thing he could have done for them.