A huge tip of ours at The Pro Project and something we regularly speak to our players about is becoming a student of the game. As a young player, ask yourself the Qs below…
Who are the best players in my position?
Why are they the best players?
What do they do on the ball?
What do they do off the ball?
What do I need to do to my game to be more like them?
If you can answer these Qs off the top of your head, then your game understanding is pretty good! This should be a good starting point for you as a young player to watch Professionals at the top of the game and emulate this at your level – its as simple as that.
If you’re doing a warm-up, ball mastery or something as basic as an unopposed passing drill, ask yourself ‘how would the Pro’s do this? The answer is normally higher intensity, faster and more care so set your standards a little higher and aim to be the best!
Understanding your own strengths and work-ons is also a key part of your development as a player. If you can identify what you’re doing well now and what you can do a little bit better, will help with your motivation to get out and practice more whilst improving your game understanding, so keep reflecting on your performance after games – what you did well, and what you could have done better.
Things to look out for:
- Goalkeepers – Passing range, bravery & mentality
- Centre Backs – Pass completion, reading the game, 1V1 defending
- Full Backs – 1V1 attacking/defending, fitness levels
- 6 – Bravery in & out of possession, tackling, passing range
- 8s – Work rate, bravery in & out of possession, variations of the position
- Wingers – Direct & positivity in final third, out of possession positioning
- Strikers – Movement, when to press/hold, variations of finishing