by Martin Bidzinski
It’s all too easy for coaches to follow the natural forward-moving mentality. When it comes to the game of soccer, the forward-moving mentality influences a more physical approach to the game and to most training concepts. This physical approach in turn has the effect of reducing the level of soccer skills required and creates a second-ball, or long-ball game mentality.
THE FIRST-BALL GAME
The more skilful game of soccer, known as the pass and move game or the first-ball game, requires a more technical approach to the development of the player. This approach uses a combination of technical and physical solutions. The forward moving mentality is combined with a lateral mentality which results in a player with a much higher capability, on both the technical and physical side of the game, hence the ability to play all requirements related to the first-ball game. The lateral based nine-cone placement solution to player development, for example, would test the technical and physical ability and therefore the playing standard of any player.