Covid-19: A time for individual skills

Personal training is the thing most professional footballers have turned to as they have been told to stay at home and not come to training due to the coronavirus outbreak. Social media has been awash with players using their own gyms and doing things to keep fit before they are allowed to return to their clubs.

Certainly across the UK all grassroots and academy matches have been postponed and training cancelled so players are not in close proximity of each other. So what about trying to get your players to get out into their gardens and try some individual skills that they can bring back to training and use in a session once football resumes?

I love to see young players showing confidence on the ball and getting into some fantastic positions by using their skills – and being able to practice and develop those skills would help every team at every level of the game.

For improving players, turning with the ball while keeping it under control is an important development phase. Key elements of this are practising different turning techniques and developing spatial awareness (knowing when and where to turn).

Here are some sessions, individual and team for when you return to training to get your team back into action with a bang.

First, take a look at Vital skills – The hook turn. Here you can get your players to watch the skill in the video and then practise it in a game.

Turning with the ball is relevant for all age groups but players must start practising it in the U7-U10 development phase. In my EasiCoach curriculum, the sessions Dribble the ball 5 yards and turn (U9 activity) and Develop a turning skill (U10 activity) are simple ways to get players turning with the ball, while Develop turning skills (U14 game) works well for slightly older players with a bit more technical ability.

You should also work on an end product that is created by turning with the ball… In Shoot on the turn the player turns and finishes by shooting. This is a great way to take a player’s mind off the turn and focus on the shot so he learns to do it without having to think about it.

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