A post specifically for players in the 16-21 age groups.
Constant “Learning, developing, improving” are words that all successful people use when describing their climb to success. They will also use the words “hard work” and “dedication“.
Although – we hear these words on a regular basis,
What does this actually look like in practice? – and how can you adopt it this for your own career as a player or coach?
Player ID helps to develop each players “Football Personality” by improving self awareness and self management.
The aim is to give players the “tools” to maximise their potential.
Giving players “tools” to audit and self evaluate – will allow the player to take “ownership” of their personal development plan.
The focus is to empower each player and making them independent.
You vs Yourself
Taking on a mentality of “YOU vs YOURSELF” as a model for your self improvement is a very effective way to work.
The first step is – Self Awareness – of your current level and also, the player that you would like to become in the future.
What is your football identity?
How do you effect the game?
What are you strong points?
What are your action areas?
What are you “obsessed” with improving?
The above are some of the questions that you must ask yourself.
Providing yourself with honest feedback and answers will enable you to understand your “Identity” and the areas that you would like to improve.
Identity = Football Personality and is unique for each player.
“A trusted coach, can help the process of self-awareness by acting as guide for the player and asking open questions”
“The coach can also assist with advice on the level that needs to be achieved”
Now – you understand your “football personality”
You can begin the process of “self management” of your daily training, diet, lifestyle and mindset in order to enhance your current levels.
(1) Self awareness – What is your football identity/personality?
(2) Self management – What are your “daily rituals” to maintain and enhance your identity as a player?
- How can you maintain and improve your key strengths? (very important)
- What areas would you like to improve?
- What help – or whose help – do you require?
- How are you going to monitor improvement?
- What is the level of your competition? (inside and outside the club)
The last question to ask yourself is – Which one is most important now? as this is the area that you need to be “obsessed” with.
Little and often
If you take advice on learning a language, then you will often be given feedback to study “little and often“.
The process of learning a language requires patience and exactly this advice – of studying for a small amount of time each day.
Seeing the improvement made each day, will give you confidence and motivation to continue with learning the language.
So adding structure to your learning is very important.
Also – you will never lose anything for a lesson/session completed. It is all invested into your learning and “money in the bank” towards improving yourself.
In addition, by working to a daily structure, you will begin to form powerful and positive habits in your behaviour that are hard to lose.
So – how can we use this as a scenario in football?
Well – often we will say to a young player “work on your weaker foot” to become more balanced or two footed.
But – that is a very broad statement to give a young player. Also – where is the end point? what does it look like?
Therefore – we can break it down and encourage a player to work on (1) receiving with their weak foot (2) the ability dribble the ball (3) the ability to turn and (4) the ability to pass the ball accurately over short distances.
“Break your learning into small “bit sized chunks” and allow yourself time to process information. Using a simple format will enhance your focus and ability to improve”
Now – the player can progress and see improvement. The improvement will lead to confidence and greater motivation.
“Keep exercises simple”
“Work to a simple process – with high focus”
A session within a session
On average, a player will train for 3 or 4 days towards each game.
In each training session, there is a team focus for you to work on and develop.
However, you must also have a strong focus on your personal development in each session.
Within the session, certain practices will natural develop areas of your game that you would like to improve. These things will come naturally in the games and practices that your coaches devise.
For example – a 7v7 training game is used by the coach to work on possession of the ball. You are taking onboard this team focus and working to improve this aspect of your game.
But – you are a defender and you are also working on your 1v1 defending as a “personal” development area. Therefore, you focus strongly on this aspect of your development within the same 7v7 game.
In short – you are training smart.
If you can take on this mentality to each exercise – within the full session/practice – then you will be training with high focus and concentration.
When stopping for a drink – between exercises – you can refocus your thoughts and prepare yourself for the next practice.
“You can create the perfect training week/session for yourself by combining the team practices with your individual development areas”
“You can give yourself the right mix of individual practices (unopposed or opposed) and team practices in order to maximise your development”
“But – first you must understand what you want/need to develop and then you can structure your personal training to these areas”
“This also works in all aspects of your development – including gym work, recovery strategies, nutrition, sleep etc……”
In the right way – you must see training as a development of YOU and try to take each day as a personal step to improve.
Then in games – you play for the TEAM.
Improving yourself each day – will improve your level and have a positive effect on the team.
Never look sideways
The moment that a player looks sideways and stops the journey of “YOU vs YOURSELF” you can fall into a dangerous trap of comparing and becoming disgruntled about somebody else’s progress.
You cannot control this – you can only control your personal focus and development.
Awareness of others
Self Awareness and Self Management of your football identity are personal to you.
However, football is a TEAM sport and therefore, you need to use your identity to enhance the collective team.
So – stage 3 is to be aware of others and how you interact with your team mates in order to make your talent “shine” and help your team to be successful.
Above is an insight into the work of PLAYER ID to support the development of professional footballers. For more details and information, please visit www.playeridentity.com
The five development stages of the PLAYER ID programme
1. Self Awareness “Identity”
2. Self Management “Daily Rituals”
3. Awareness of others “Within the collective”
4. Relationship Management “Perception”
5. Ownership “Take control”
PLAYER ID helps guide a player towards “ownership” of their personal development