The idea behind our ‘Football at Home’ initiative is to encourage and inspire our boys to take ownership of their learning and continually look to improve. The long-term aim is to make the boys more self-aware of their development and enjoy learning and seeing their progress. The initiative is broken into two parts:
The first part provides the boys with ‘Home Tasks’ that can be downloaded via the link below, where the boys can simply go online and print off a resource or task to complete. The tasks will include things such as food diaries, player roles and responsibilities and game analysis sheets. The boys can complete the task and then hand it in to their coach who will go through with the individual, the extra work they have done and how it could help them with their game.
The second part is the ‘Ball Mastery and Controlling Surfaces’ curriculum. The idea is simply that the better each boy is with the ball at their feet, the better they can play their role in the team. We want our boys to enjoy and love being on the ball, developing excellent technical capabilities where they can execute a wide range of moves, tricks and turns and control the ball comfortably especially when under pressure.
As our coaching curriculum works in 6-week blocks we have 6 separate ball mastery skill sets and videos that the boys will work on each week. Each session has 5 skills for the boys to master ranging from static controlling techniques through to complex turns to beat an opponent when travelling with the ball.
We have also added a ‘Controlling Surfaces’ part to provide the boys with different ideas and surfaces to control the ball aerially. The foundation for this is to give the boys the tools to react to the ever-changing picture of the game and be ready to control the ball however it comes to them. Inspiration is taken from players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovich, ‘The Taekwondo Footballer’ who maneuverers and controls the ball with distinctive technique and athleticism.
The boys have the opportunity to learn ball mastery skills whilst at training and put them to the test in our Friday Night Games League. However, we also encourage the boys to practice at home and away from training. With this in mind each player is given an individual skill card; personable to them that takes them through their football journey. As they complete a certain amount of ‘homework’ and challenges set by coaches (based on what they have been practising at home) they will be able to track their progress on to the next stage of their journey and complete part of their skill card (see below).