The Players Are Getting Bored

Coach MB sent the following questions to our CYSA website “Ask the Staff’ section.

MB: I love the CYSA '9-Step Practice Routine' and have been using it for the last two seasons (12 and 13 year old girls).

Koach Karl: Thank you for focusing on the development of your players!

MB: During a parent's meeting last night, two of the parents indicated their children were getting bored going through the same routine each practice.

Koach Karl: I have heard this comment a few times and have often wondered how these parents deal with:

  1. Their child's' football coach, who starts each practice doing jumping jacks; has the center hike the ball to the quarterback in the exact same manner, or asks the wide receivers to run 10-yard down-and-out patterns over and over again?

  2. Their child's basketball coach, who starts each and every practice doing lay-ups; has them take “free-throws” from the exact-same spot; or asks the players to run to the same spot each practice to get the pattern correct, having them do it over and over again?

  3. Their child's baseball coach, who starts each and every practice having players pair-up and toss the ball back and forth; hits the ball to the shortstop, who throws the ball to the covering second baseman, who tosses the ball to first for a double play; or asks the pitcher to throw the ball from the same mound over the same home plate over and over again?

Common sense tells us that the main difference between athletes who achieve and athletes who do not is not a big mystery. It is simply conscientiousness. Athletes and coaches who approach their sport/practices with order, common sense, consistency and persistence will ultimately succeed.

When you get right down to it, some people find life “boring!” Think about it … go to sleep in the same bed every night, wake up on the same side of the bed every morning, brush the teeth with the same toothbrush, comb one’s hair (if any is left) with the same brush, etc. It is simply conscientiousness. People who approach their life with order, common sense, consistency and persistence are usually happy and successful.

MB: I do change the theme each time for variety.

Koach Karl: Excellent! By changing your focus it changes the players’ focus and disguises the fact that you are continuing to work on the same old attacking and defending techniques that soccer players need to master. Many experts have suggested that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice for a player to become technically proficient to play this game. Ten-thousand hours — do you think that every one of these hours is filled with variety and excitement?

MB: I agree with your program that repetition is the key toward improving skills.

Koach Karl: I am positive that you will find very few people who will disagree with the fact that repetition is the key to learning. However, and here is the dilemma, how does one keep repeating something and at the same time keep from getting bored?

First, you must recognize that there are two main reasons why players will claim that they are bored:

  1. It is too hard and they are unable to perform the technique/tactic.
  2. It is too easy to perform the technique/tactic.

If you see that the players are unable to perform the task, then apply some of the following:

  1. Slow down the action of the player to a speed where success is attained.
  2. Slow down the action of the opposing player(s) until success is attained.
  3. Make the field/space larger so that success can be attained.
  4. Decrease the number of opponents so that success can be attained.

If you see that the players are too easily able to perform the task, then apply some of the following:

  1. Speed up the action of the player to a speed where he/she is challenged.
  2. Speed up the action of the opposing player(s) until he/she is challenged.
  3. Make the field/space smaller so that the player is challenged.
  4. Increase the number of opponents so that the player is challenge.
  5. Use a stopwatch and challenge the player to beat his/her last record time.
  6. Make a progress chart and challenge the player to beat his/her last record.

Finally, ask these two parents to participate in one or more of your training sessions and then ask them (if they are still standing and breathing J) about getting bored during a CYSA '9-Step Routine Practice!'

Note: Find another CYSA Instructional Staff response to the above “theme” by clicking here. For even more CYSA Instructional Staff responses to this or other themes, or to submit your own question, visit cysanorth,org, click on the FUNdamental Soccer logo on the bottom of the page and follow the links to the “Ask the Staff” section.

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