Training sessions on paper looks good in most cases. We are ready for practical application (delivery), yet how often do we think: Is learning actually taking place for players we are working with? There is a difference between just delivery what had been prepared and how much young players can learn from it.
I think we are guilty (including myself) of planning the session for delivery instead of planning for learning. Too often we obsessed with the topic only because didn’t work out on weekend game! We then force kids to learn what we think they need (weekend game) as opposed to what they able to learn in this present moment. In other words, we planning for what didn’t work out on Sunday rather than are players able to learn what didn’t work out on Sunday.
Going forward next Sunday game is behind us, yet we still facing same problems, don’t we? And we continue to have them as long as our planning is not set up for children learning abilities. So, how then plan the session for learning? Here are few tips to think about before planning your next session.
Have you planning to simply fill out the time of the session? Tip 1- If so, seek to plan an hour for learning not an hour for the delivery.
Have you planning one topic Wednesday, then another one week after and so forth? Well, I have to say that learning doesn’t happen in little segments of different themes each week. Tip 2- Instead try to introduce a learning outcome i.e. stay on the ball under pressure for sequence of sessions (number of weeks).
How much emphasis you put on structure of your session? Do you worry about finding the time to apply all the activities you had been prepared? Tip 3- simply ignore structure of your session and concentrate what would make a difference to players learning?
Are you guilty to try to coach everything and children learn actually nothing? If so, consider what your group of players able to learn in first place. Then identify key areas as starting point and simply choose what do they need to learn first. Tip 4- Identify What your players are able to learn? How would you coach or teach that?
Example: What? Improve staying on the ball under pressure; How?1v1 game situations; Block of sessions: 4-6 weeks
How many sessions we are delivery is less important than how much players can learn from it. We should less focus on content and more on learning. Planning for learning is more effective, far less time consuming and without the doubt benefit those we coach-young players.