NAGGALAMA – The days pass by quickly in Naggalama: the mornings are taken up by lessons and the afternoons by training.
We joined the coaches on the ground to watch a session on technique being taught to children aged 8-10, analysing the most common errors from the young footballers and trying to find the root cause. It made us think that technical qualities aren’t the only aspects that influence how we execute the ideal action, kicking the ball, receiving a pass or running with the ball; often there are areas that coaches barely touch upon but come to the fore naturally on the pitch.
These areas concern their personality, all put together they build up one’s character, and they are manifested throughout movement as well, which is what we’re dealing with in our work. The action of movement itself can be improved as well, with the right corrections to help the children carry out the technical steps in a fluid and clean way while also influencing their natural development.
As coaches, we have to recognise and stimulate all areas of their personalities in a positive way in order to help them grow as people and not just footballers.
The most difficult task is often communicating our training method, which is based on the idea that a problem is likely to derive from a child’s lack of trust in themselves. This leads them to tense up when in motion, almost scared and muscularly rigid. Thus they’re faced with a seemingly insurmountable block when trying to do an action and it’s hard for them to be effective when receiving the ball.
Our aim is to give back this confidence to the children through encouragement and, where necessary, small adjustments to stimulate greater effort and the successful outcome of a drill. This kind of message has ramifications far beyond the teaching of technique in football and is the most difficult part of our job, but also the most stimulating.
Seen through this perspective, the theoretical lessons in the classroom are of an equal importance to the exercises on the pitch because it all forms part of their education.