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Answering the Question

Reactions to my article, “Words Communicate More Than Information,” gathered a gamut of responses.  Here are two of them …

I hated “drills,”, and so did every child I ever coached! It goes beyond buzzwords. As you said, it denotes a mindset on how we coach and train kids. I VAGUELY remember my childhood, but I do know I hated “drills.”

So when we become coaches, we blindly carry on the same things we disliked? Yeah, that makes sense. Somehow we think that now that we are older and wiser, drills, although disliked, can be justified.

Every new generation of coaches does exactly the same thing. I read an article by Kevin Keegan (Liverpool & England great), who praised how the training was conducted at Hamburg in Germany when he transferred from Liverpool. He said their training with the ball improved his skills, fitness, and effort levels. In England, he said, we run for miles without the ball, exercise without the ball, and players scaled back their efforts to last the session.

Perhaps we could remove other words like; rote, conditioning, etc. Drills shout out, boring, sameness, uninteresting & disinterest. Consecutive repetition is terrible. Repetition with variations, increased complexity & challenges are not.

Bill Howe,

Director at WC Howe Institute

The perception and implication of the word “drill” depend entirely on the coach’s application. Make this aspect of training up-tempo, competitive, and fun — not drudgery, and certainly not punishment. In open play, make a point of praising any example of lessons and skills acquired during “drills.”

And yes, occasionally devote an entire training session to open play as a “reward” for focus and effort in drills.

One more thing. Anyone who thinks Brazilian kids learned the game on the streets in pick-up games is delusional. There is a rigorous club and academy system, and they do “drills.”

Rich Jablonski

Koach Karl’s Notes: 

Thank You! Coaches Bill Howe and Rich Jablonski for sharing your insights with FUNdamental SOCCER!

I hope others will join this discussion and am optimistic that sharing insights/suggestions like this will help continue to improve youth soccer coaches …Priceless..!

Finally, I pray that everyone will care for themselves and their loved ones!

Your FUNdamental, Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien)

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