by Coach Gianni Mininni
This is a quotation of John Rohn. I like it very much, because it condenses a concept that I’ve tried many times to transfer to my players at practice.
I’ve almost given up trying to put in their minds the concept of keeping it simple and just executing, during the game, what we practice.
In a situation in which there is a clear chance to score, why try to make a hole in the net, when what is necessary is only to calmly put the ball in the net? Why shoot a rocket with all the power you have, just to miss the goal?
Thousands of times I’ve seen a basketball players make a fake before shooting. The opponent jumps and, when he is on his way coming back to the floor, the shooter has all the time in the word to shoot totally undisturbed. Why is it so hard for soccer players to do the same before they shoot? Make a fake, the opponent is gone and now you have the whole target free to put the ball in the corner just with a soft touch of the inside of the foot. Is that so hard to do? It seems so! Constantly, the forwards shoot against the leg or the foot of an opponent as if it’s possible that the ball, for some mysterious physical law, could physically pass through the leg or the foot of the opponents.
When we look at the greatest players, an idea comes immediately to mind. They seem to make everything so easy. I would like to share a secret with you. It seems easy, because………………………… IT IS EASY!!!!!
It is not easy for us, because we complicate it! Keep it easy and you’ll see that it is easy. How many times do we miss a trap? Many times. Did you ever notice that we miss it because the ball passes UNDER our foot, between the cleats and the ground? There is no reason in the world to trap the ball by putting the foot ON TOP OF THE BALL! It’s obvious that, if the timing is not perfect, it could happen that the ball passes under our foot. Please don’t raise your foot anymore! Just a couple inches from the ground, go a little forward in receiving the ball and accompany it slowly or move it already in the direction you’d like to go.
There aren’t easy or hard questions. There are only questions that we know or don’t know the answers to. That makes them hard. The fact that we don’t know the answers! In soccer it’s the same. There are no hard or easy foot skills. There are skills that are hard for us because we don’t know how to trap, pass, kick or juggling.
We don’t need to be a genius to understand that this could be achieved only through repetition, repetition and repetition. It takes us years just to learn how to walk. And we practice that 8/10 hours every day for years. How can you think of learning to handle the ball in 2 hours a week for only a few months of the year?
Did you ever see a chess player who doesn’t have a set of pieces and a board at home? I’ve never seen it. Have you ever seen a guitar player without a guitar at home, maybe more than one? I’ve never seen it. Have you ever seen a soccer player without a soccer ball at home? I’ve never seen it so, accept this reality. If you don’t have a soccer ball at home, it is a clear sign that YOU ARE NOT A SOCCER PLAYER. It’s not about that you aren’t good enough. It’s about the fact that you don’t care to become a soccer player.
The day that you will do ordinary things extraordinarily well, you will be extraordinary too. Not necessarily in playing soccer!
You can reach Coach G. at: www.CoachGianni.com.