DAVID FLITCROFT'S COACHING COLUMN: We can learn to be the pass masters in sport

The Bolton News: DRILL The objective is for the four outside blues to continually pass perfectly to each other. DRILL The objective is for the four outside blues to continually pass perfectly to each other.

DAVID Flitcroft has joined up with The Bolton News to try to help the town’s young footballers become better players in his coaching corner.

In his latest instalment, the Bolton-based Bury manager comes up with interesting ways of keeping kids focused on improving their passing NOTHING destroys a team more than an inaccurate pass during the game.

 

After teaching and coaching English players for the last eight years it is quite clear our culture stops us from becoming the greatest passing team in world football.

English kids are continually driving coaches mad by asking the coach: “When are we having a game?” during training sessions Most coaches I have met give in to this request to satisfy the need of the child and the watching parents.

English players get bored of technical passing drills and want more stimulation and competition.

Parents often get frustrated watching a boring passing session and they would much rather watch their children compete and dominate in a game situation.

I went to Spain to study excellent passing practice and one thing that stood out is how dedicated and focused the Spanish kids are on the skill of passing.

They see it as ball mastery whereas our players see doing a Ronaldo scissors move as a ball mastery skill.

When the Spanish are practising a passing drill, it is like watching an artist paint. The craft, the invention, the detail and the execution is all perfect. Every detail is mastered. They don’t get bored, they just get better.

Every pass you can dream up in your head they execute with ease, assurance and real confidence.

The climate helps considerably to stimulate and enhance the passing session.

After a quick dynamic warm-up, two players will pass to each other – a 5m pass then a 10m pass then a 20m pass in order to improve their short, medium and long passing range.

They will spend 30 to 40 minutes dedicating their time to the skill of passing and instant control.

It is like anything in life, confidence comes from doing something over and over again until you master it. The more confident you become, the more you will want to show off. I feel this is where football bravery and courage comes into play. A player with supreme confidence in his passing ability will want to get on the ball and be involved in the game to showcase their talent.The player will make deep angles to receive the ball, instead of shallow angles, so as to hide from receiving a pass.

We have talked in previous columns about how we should be creating a possession-based player rather than hitting a long ball aimlessly forward.

A possession-based player must exude in his pass confidence, or he will never be able to dominate a game of football with the ball.

If the ball is kept and recycled to a team-mate then the player will only be running to make angles to receive the ball, not chasing around the pitch to retrieve the ball.

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