The game needs skilful players, but exactly how do we develop them? We delve into the topic with the help of our very own Pete Sturgess and Paul Holder.
The two FA coaches take a look at five points that can help your players to become skilful.
Consider how you view skill.
To us, being skilful is about mastering the body, the ball and the mind – making the right decisions to solve the problems the game presents. And we believe every player, no matter their position, can be capable of this.
Pete Sturgess: Technical skill – your individual connection with the ball – is needed for you to be able to perform at a certain level of skillfulness. The same is true of physical skill, such as efficient, fluent and coordinated body movement. If you put those two things together, then there’s a chance you can begin to influence a game of football.
But the real influence comes through your decision-making skills, which relate to perceiving, scanning and paying attention to things around you. Put those technical, physical and decision-making skills together, and they allow you to perform effectively.
Paul Holder: It’s easy to recognise skill on the ball. But people off the ball, who read situations and get into good positions, are skilful too. Like a goalkeeper who claims a cross between two defenders. There’s the timing of when to come out, judging the flight of the ball, changing your speed… it all combines into a skilful movement of catching a ball.